Jenny O'Malley
Monday, November 29, 2021
4 min read

4 super alternatives to a grad scheme

Graduates schemes aren't the be-all and end-all when it comes to opportunities post-Bachelor's degree. Sure, they provide great training opportunities but there are a wealth of other work options out there that are equally as (if not more) valuable. Here are just a few!



With so many benefits and opportunities, startup jobs are the perfect mix of challenging and fun - it's what every grad needs when entering the workforce! Ready to dive right in?




Application process:

2-3 interviews (typically including a task).


As long as you want to stay! (1 year at least is always ideal).


-Learn on the job
-More specialised position than at a grad scheme
-Greater ownership of work
-Potential equity in the company (get some skin in the game)


-Less structure
-A lot of responsibility
-Short turnaround times
-Fewer resources to play with than in the corporate world




Sometimes upskilling a bit more is the best thing to do to get ahead and prepare for the role of your dreams. A Master's degree is a great option for those eager to learn more in their chosen field and fine-tune their skillset for future jobs. (P.s. It's not too late to apply for January programmes!)



Open 12 months before the course start date - sometimes first come first serve or an interview is required.


Typically 1 year.


-Greater knowledge that will prepare you for work and set you apart in the job hunt
-More time to think about which job role is right for you
-Higher earning potential


-Increased student debt
-Another year outside of a professional working environment and without a wage




Make your way into the working world as a free agent - be your own boss, decide your own schedule, and choose which clients to work with (once you get into the swing of things). Evaluate what part of your skillset you want to monetise, which can be anything from copywriting and coding to graphic design and editing, and start building your client base! It may take some time, but the payoff is undeniable.



-Flexibility and independence
-Work on projects that interest you
-Have full control over the entire process
-Pocket all the profits


-You'll only be relying on yourself - you'll have no one else to help you manage your time, output, or budget. A lot of self-discipline and resilience is required.
-Training will also be self-enforced - as a fresh grad, you may want to train further in your specialty (which you'll have to pay and put time aside for)
-Some financial risk - again, it's down to you to secure clients. So if you can't attract enough people that are willing to pay for your services, this might cause a strain on your wallet.




Follow in the footsteps of Timothy Armoo, Founder of Fanbytes, and Ben Francis, Founder of Gymshark, who were both students with big dreams not too long ago! Bring your idea to life and reap the benefits. Oh and check out our Ultimate Startup Guide to get you off the ground too.



-Be your own boss
-Action change you want to see in your industry
-Make your own wealth


-Harder, longer hours (at first)
-A chance that the business may not succeed
-Financial risks


Which path will you be taking?


Want to join the startup world? Take a look at our graduate startup roles and get applying today!



Graduate Jobs