The University Network

After College Graduation: What Next?!

Graduating from university is very different from graduating from high school. People usually go in one of two ways after finishing college. The first path is continuing your education and entering a masters program, and the other is taking a break from school. While it might seem that these options are similar to those of high school graduates, undergrad students have a variety of opportunities. If you are about to graduate from college and have no idea to what to do next, don’t stress – allow me to tell you all the different directions you can go in.

1. Enter a Master’s Program

One of the most common steps after graduating university is to head over to graduate school. According to Forbes, the number of college graduates who have gone directly to grad school has increased tremendously in the recent years. Some college graduates might want to pursue a PhD or an MBA and have enough work experience to apply for a masters program right after their undergrad. Students, who have had jobs and internships in areas of interest during their college career, are the most eligible for applying to a masters program after they graduate from university. There are several different programs for students depending on what they are interested in. Students can mostly expect to complete their master’s degree two full years after they begin the program.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

After you receive your undergraduate degree, you might be interested in attending a business school. A Master of Business holds a degree in business administration. The major courses in the MBA program include a variety of areas of business such as finance, marketing, human resources and accounting. There are many benefits to getting an MBA, the number one being greater employment opportunities in business management. According to research, MBA graduate students are known to have better employment options as well as earn more money than those who don’t receive the degree. The earlier you get your MBA, the earlier you can be a part of the labor force.

Master of Arts (MA)

Master of Arts is mainly awarded in the area of arts or social sciences, such as education, communications, literature, history, music, and languages. A master’s of arts degree is many times compared to a master’s of science, however – one of the main differences is that many programs in the Master of Arts do not require a thesis.

Master of Science (MS)

A Master of Science is usually given in subjects categorized as the sciences, such as chemistry, biology, medicine and engineering. Certain disciplines such as the social sciences and economics can fall under sciences as well, in which case the MS might hold more value in some industries. Additionally, those who want to progress to a doctoral program might require a master’s degree beforehand.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

In some graduate programs, studies on a doctorate can begin directly after earning the bachelor’s degree; in this case, students begin work on a PhD immediately after they graduate from university. A PhD is an intense postgraduate degree involving three or more years of independent research, which is usually carried out with the support of academic supervisors. It is considered to be the highest academic degree a student can achieve.

2. Get a job

A master’s is impressive, but so is experience. After receiving an undergraduate degree, students traditionally look for jobs to gain experience before jumping into higher education opportunities. Students typically begin looking for jobs before graduating from college, however it’s never too late to start applying for work. The labor force is always looking for young and talented employees. Use this time to strengthen your resume!

Paid Job

If you want to start saving up for graduate school as well as get experience in your area of interest, you might be engrossed in a paid job. Apply to as many jobs as you can and prepare to amaze the hiring managers with your impressive skills and everything else you have to offer.


Internships are a great way to transition into regular employment routines. Internships are usually unpaid positions for those who are solely interested in academic experience. In some cases, students who are applying to unpaid internships might get a wider range of opportunities in terms of jobs. Additionally, the application process is similar to that of a paid position, so do your research before going in for the interview and impress the employers.


Build up your knowledge by volunteering and using your time to help those in need. There are many volunteer opportunities for college graduates. If you are looking for a productive time off, perhaps consider joining the Peace Corps. Peace Corps will give you an amazing opportunity to make a difference in the world.

3. Take a break!

Traditionally, a gap year is mostly linked to prospective college students who want to take time off before beginning university. However, more recently, some college students are looking for a break after completing their four years of education. College graduates have found the gap year to be an appealing alternative.

Study for Graduate School Admission Exams

Many students take a gap year after graduating college and use that time to study for any admission exam they might need to take depending on which master’s program they are planning on applying to. If you are applying to graduate, medical, law, or business school, you might be required to take a standard entrance exam. Use your “break” from colleges to study!


Graduate schools and jobs are not the only way to gain experience. Many young people use this time to explore different parts of the country or world, before they are given the responsibilities of being an adult. Expand your knowledge by traveling!