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What to do when you successfully finish your online studies

By Alison Rodericks

Congratulations are in order! Your online course is almost over and you can taste success. But don’t pop the bubbly until you’ve answered the all-important question: do you have your future mapped out before you? 

A recent article in The Guardian says that the coronavirus has resulted in “increasing numbers of people using the time to build their skillset”.

Chances are, you’ve been focusing on your online studies with such single-minded determination that you’ve failed to figure out what to do once you actually complete your course. If you find yourself feeling a little lost about what direction to take, here are some recommended steps on what to do after finishing your studies.  

1. Study some more.

Your soon-to-be completed online course has given you a taste for a particular field/subject. It’s engaging, it’s interesting, it’s challenging – you want to learn more. Use it as a stepping stone to enrol in further studies online. 

Upskilled offers a range of graduate diplomas, graduate certificates, certificates and advanced diplomas in various streams. Do your research on the career prospects, salary and job opportunities this area of study can offer you. Speak to a student/career counsellor and/or people already working in this field. 

2. Look for an internship.

Your online course has given you all the textbook knowledge you need; now it’s time to gain hands-on experience. Apply for an internship to learn the ropes and work your way up in your chosen field. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door. Aim for a paid internship and hope that the job entails more than doing the coffee run for the seniors.

Bear in mind that internships do not necessarily lead to a job offer for you, so do your utmost to make a good impression with a strong work ethic, intelligence and dedication to learning new things. Yes, the hours will be long and it will probably be a steep learning curve, but, when you look back on this internship in years to come, you will be thankful for the opportunity. 

3. Enter a graduate program.

employee training concept

Seek out companies that offer placements to new graduates. The training you’ll receive on the job is like no other. Graduate programs last one or two years and allow you to start your career through a structured introduction to the workplace. 

Be warned: the competition is fierce for a few select positions, but the experience is worth the slog. You might be rotated around different departments to get a feel for different areas of work until you find your niche. You can also get guidance through a mentor, which is so beneficial when you’re starting out. 

4. Find a job in your field.

Make sure you know what the best vacancy sources are for the type of role you are looking for. There are so many recruitment websites and agencies and some specialise in particular sectors, so approach the right ones. 

Work on building contacts with industry professionals through word-of-mouth, personal contacts, work experience and through social media channels like LinkedIn. 

Perseverance is key. No matter how many reject letters you get (or worse, no reply at all) you need to stay positive and continuously improve your applications until you succeed. 

5. Be an entrepreneur.

woman business owner smiling at smart phone

If you can’t find the job that suits you, why not be your own boss? This is the age of the side hustle when a hobby or passion project can often lead to a career doing something you love. Challenge your entrepreneurial skills by starting your own business. 

On the one hand, it can offer perks like flexibility, autonomy and opportunities; on the other hand, it can be fraught with stress, overwork, financial burdens and too many responsibilities. Now more than ever, it’s critical for entrepreneurs to continue learning new skills and online courses like the ones offered at Upskilled are the perfect way to do it. 

6. Take a break.

After studying hard, you deserve some down-time. Take this as an opportunity to undertake hobbies you’ve put in the backburner. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to improve your culinary skills and want to try cooking dishes you’ve never tried before. You may also have an interest in learning a new skill and take up short courses that explore your creativity.

Either way, it’s important to take a break if you feel signs of burnout. Shifting your focus on rest can be beneficial when it comes to working out your career goals. While there are expectations on having it all figured out once you complete your studies, taking a break after your studies can make sense. 

Need more support when it comes to your studies?

Did you know that studying with Upskilled means you'll receive support from a dedicated team of student support consultants? They’re available to assist you with your queries regarding your studies and are your point of contact when it comes to issues you come across during your course. Plus, they do regular check ins to help you progress with your studies. To enquire about a course, get in touch with Upskilled by calling 1300 009 924. 
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*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.