How to get the most from your graduate degree after University

How to save money in your first year at University

Sponsored Post: While the cost of degrees is now bordering on the astronomical, there’s a clear reason most people go to university and get themselves into years of debt: the chance to find a higher paying career. Unfortunately, there’s a saturation of graduates in the UK and sometimes working out how to get the most from your graduate degree isn’t always simple.

So how do you turn that degree worth roughly £26,000 into a well-paid role?

Blogging

Blogging is a simple and effective way to familiarise yourself with digital marketing, social media marketing and polishing your communication skills. Launching your own blog allows you to show employers a body of work that shows off your interests and talents. Keep your content clean and above board, but make it unique to you. A blog will make you appealing for all sorts of potential careers, from communications to business and marketing/PR.

Blogs are also cheap. You can start a free one with Blogger or WordPress, or purchase hosting and install your own wordpress.org installation.

Master’s Degree

Taking your standard degree and bettering it with a masters makes you stand out above the competition and sees you noticed more frequently by employers. It also gives you a chance to study a more career-relevant course, for instance you could complete a masters in marketing with a degree in English.

However, a master’s degree can be an expensive venture. The average cost of a masters in 2014 was £6,000.

One option for the ambitious is to study abroad. Germany offers free tuition in their public universities, requiring only a nominal fee of 150-250 euros for administration costs. Denmark, Sweden, Norway and France all offer similar options to EU students – so all you’d need to cover are living costs.

Graduate development course

If you land a role at an employer who seems to care about your training and growth and employs a number of graduates, ask them if they’d consider sending you on a graduate development course. While these can cost quite a bit, the company you work for or are interested in joining may foot the cost if it is in their interest. It becomes a valuable addition to your CV.

Volunteering

Volunteering for a charity or a position within your university while you study helps increase your employability by showing you’re a driven worker. If you also work a part-time job whilst studying it demonstrates that you’re not afraid of hard work. Aside from that, it also provides you with an employment reference.

Tailor your CV

When applying for the better paying jobs available to graduates, you might have to get creative with your CV. Rather than highlighting your results, it may be worth highlighting the skills and experiences your degree taught you. Saying you hold a 2:1 in sociology may not be as attractive as telling a potential employer how a module taught you vital research and planning skills.