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Fresh Out of College? What Next?

When a person enters a college or university with the aim of pursuing a particular stream, he or she has clearly chosen a career path.  However, this does not necessarily mean that the decision was made with full clarity about the future. Many times, this decision is influenced by the complex relationship between personal, familial and peer-popular factors and opportunities present at the time of the decision making. As one moves forward, it is inevitable that new career paths and opportunities open up. It can be a welcome change to a few, or a could lead to serious indecisiveness, or create a situation anywhere in-between. In any case, exploring the available options and coming to an informed decision is always beneficial.  In this article, find out some good, solid career options after graduation.The first and foremost step is to accept the fact that life is just starting and with its glorious moments, also comes learning by experience and mistakes. There are a few people who tend to love whatever comes their way, but to many, being stuck in a dead-end job or biting off way more than one can chew in a harrowing PhD is not the ideal state. Hence, it is extremely important to at least realize one’s interests and potentials, and then decide on relevant career options after graduation.

Some Career Options After Graduation!

One of the common methods adopted by students is to get an undergraduate degree in a core engineering, medical or science field and then consider changing fields according to interests. This approach has its pros and cons but seems to be helpful to many. In this article, we’ll explore some key career options after graduation, and their limitations.

PhD – Research – Academia!

This might not be on the top of many people’s wishlists, and the reasons can vary. It is natural to aspire to become successful, and to many, the definition of success is to become rich. To that end; however, this might not be the right path. Research, glamorous though it may sound, is a very long and hard process of never-ending learning. If that is an appealing prospect, then the next step is finding out if one has the aptitude for research. At the very least, research at a doctorate level requires good self-learning capability and a grasp of the fundamentals of sciences and mathematics. Different people are good at different things. Not all great and famous people are research scientists, but there are quite a few. More than anything; however, a passion for the science field is very important. Without that, PhD becomes a long and hard slog towards an average salary.

Having made a case for practicality, it is important to understand the essence of a PhD degree. A doctoral research is the most intellectually satisfying path one can take at this stage. It comes with exclusivity and pride of work. At the very essence of it, this is adding new information to the collective knowledge of the human race. Many paradigm shifts have been a direct result of technological, medical, artistic, economic, social, literary and scientific discoveries, inventions and observations. A doctorate is a pass to that realm of intellectual power. There is respect and satisfaction in becoming an expert, maybe even the world’s first or only expert, in a particular field.

If an aptitude for knowledge dissemination is present, then teaching is a wonderful line of work. As far as remuneration is concerned, it might just be sufficient to live a rather luxurious life. But that is almost never what motivates a researcher.


Pursuing a master’s degree within India might not be at the top of the list for a graduate. Many chose to do it abroad as it carries a variety of advantages. If you’re thinking of it, GRE is the way forward for you! At the outset, the subject knowledge and application thereof is more informed and experience-oriented. There is always the advantage of exposure to foreign cultures and methods. Many foreign universities provide only a master’s program. There are several universities which offer a research-based Master’s degree also. Within India, the IITs have combined course-powered yet research-centered Master’s programs. Though research by Master’s is not viewed in the same light as a PhD by research, it provides valuable experience. A major appeal of this PG is the fact that it takes much less time to get a Master’s, even if by research, than a PhD. Therefore, in addition to prepping one for research, it provides an option to enter a field at a much more malleable stage in the career path. If the idea is to have working knowledge in the act of research itself and to proceed into a line of work where one might need both a level of expertise and the freedom to change streams or mould oneself as requirement arises, Master’s is the way to go.

However, it is to be noted that as far as job opportunities go, Master’s degree holders have it difficult. Their greatest advantage is their greatest weakness. They have a working knowledge of many things and a mouldable brain. But they are overqualified for B Tech jobs and under-qualified for pure research and development work in a specialized field. A clear career path is hard to define but if the Masters is done from a reputed or foreign university, it should not be very difficult to find a way in any line of work. This is one of the career options after graduation.

The 9-to-5 Grind

A corporate job is the most sought-after option among fresh graduates. It comes with a sense of security about the future, which a higher education option will never bring at this stage. While some may wish to stay in the same job if their organization provides them with the right environment, growth prospects and job satisfaction; some may switch to other organizations where they can grow. It is a safe and secure future. That, in itself, is an enticing prospect. It lets one start a life outside of academia. A few years on the job and there will inevitably be promotions and hikes, provided the employee is sincere and sufficient. If the idea is to settle into a life where the importance is to become self-sufficient as soon as possible, or start a family or to simply enjoy what the world has to offer, then a good job takes the proverbial cake. Even though every line of work comes with its set of stresses and troubles, it is arguably going to be less stressful than a PhD at this stage. This is among the best career options after graduation to take if one wishes to make use of the world in all its beauty as opposed to trying to add to it. This career path is most favored because of such aspects. At the end of the day, the higher education years come to an end and more often than not, the next step is to look for a job. There is no point in slogging somewhere trying to get a PhD being miserable and sick of life while one can be quite happy working in a simple 9-to-5 job. Besides, one can always choose to study later on in life, and with a job, one might just have the required financial backing to do so.

The Management Way

This is more of a job-enhancing tool. An MBA after any graduation, be it engineering or arts or any other, is a way to hone one’s skills at work-related important aspects. From people management to logistics, every company needs employees who have some expertise in management. It is an interesting career path with a lot of importance given to practical applications of skills and in a way preparing for the real world, which many under graduate degrees fail to do. If the idea is to start a job or business with a good grasp of the working of the organization itself, then an MBA is the way to go. Not only is the pay more tempting, but it also gives people a unique set of skills and expertise which might just be enough to push the work spot to new heights. However, this course is not easy by any means, and one needs to work really hard, especially considering the current job market.

So, these career options after graduation pretty much sum up the essence of it all. The decision after graduation is important, and the consequences need to be looked at with scrutiny and intent.

It may just be that none of these strikes a chord in you. In that case, you can look up some of the more off-beat professions trending in the world, here!

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