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What Do Graduates Want to Do?

A quick look at this infographic from Mindmixer's blog got me thinking, what do most graduates want to do post-graduation? I myself graduated just a few quick days ago, and you better believe, every student, uncle, and grandparent alike has asked me, "What are your plans after graduation?" My initial reaction: Still working on it. My response: Taking it easy, while I search for jobs with career potential. Meanwhile I have friends approaching the job search at every spot on the spectrum. Some are currently pulling their hair out every day at the library job-searching online. Others have decided to take a year to travel. Then there are the ones who have killer medical fellowships lined up. What was initially a sigh of relief--no more twenty page papers and final exams--quickly turned into a wave of anxiety and pressure. Should I have secured a job mid-year and spend every free Friday afternoon networking?

Naturally, I turned to other students to find out their post-graduation plans.

1. Private Sector
Private sector takes the top spot for what students want when they graduate. It is a widely held American value,that upon graduating students venture out into the "real world" and start making money. Many graduates take entry level jobs at large corporations. Many aspire to be entrepreneurs. Others may work for a family business. All the same, graduates working in the private sector, many hoping to make their way to the top of the corporate food chain. Since so many graduates must pay off their student loans right after graduating, it makes sense they would choose the private sector, which typically earn about 4.1% more than those in the public sector, and there is room to move up.

2. Graduate School
It only makes sense that in an economy that was recently very fragile, students would consider grad school. Not to mention, nowadays, we are taught as students that to acquire a specialty, be the best at is, is a highly coveted position to be in. There are actually Masters degrees in Bowling Degree Management, Viticulture and Enology, and Puppetry. No wonder students are going back to school.

3. Other Options
Many students choose to travel, work for family, go to specialty schools upon graduating. Developing a physical skill never hurts.

4. Non-profits and Teaching
Those who decide to dedicate their lives to bettering those of others through teaching and non-profits take up a good amount of the pie as well. Graduates who want to go into these fields want to change the world and care for others. There is no shortage of opportunities in the non-profit world. It's no secret that working in the non-profit world does not offer a big paycheck, which means these graduates are likely passionate about working in the field. That said, working in non-profit management requires a Master's degree itself, in non-profit management.

5. Federal Government
According to the infographic, few graduates decide to take the government job route, but not due to lack of resources. Among them are, USA Jobs, and Jobs in government range from jobs in development and research to well known establishments like Americorps and the US Army.

If you too have recently graduated, what is YOUR plan? Any of these routes sound good to you?

Good luck,


Sinead McDonough's picture