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Obtaining academic qualifications is the first step to building a career, but how can you make sure you end up in your dream job?  Choosing the right career path and finding lucrative opportunities isn’t always easy but there are ways to simplify the process.  To get started, take a look at our top career guidance tips for students and plan your future now:

1. Start Early

It’s never too early to start preparing for your future, so don’t put off thinking about your career until after you graduate.  In fact, the sooner you start considering which career paths could be right for you, the better!

Whether you’re in your first year of an undergrad course or you haven’t even applied for college yet, begin using career planning tips for students to get things underway.  This will give you additional time to research potential career options, explore training opportunities and gain valuable experience.

2. Look at Careers Linked to Your Course

If you’ve already enrolled in college or you know which subject you want to study, it makes sense to consider careers which are closely linked to your degree.  In some instances, you’ll need to obtain an undergraduate qualification to move forwards in a particular career, so your course could be highly relevant to your future career path.

Similarly, many college and university courses are tailored towards particular sectors and industries.  If you’re studying computer science, for example, you may envisage yourself as an analyst, programmer, or developer. Alternatively, completing a business management degree could lead directly to a role as a project manager, adviser, or operations manager, for example.

3. Think Outside the Box

Although your qualifications may be closely linked to your future career path, don’t feel restricted when it comes to planning your professional life.  Many degrees have a broad application, which means that you can use them as a basis for virtually any career.  Furthermore, all courses provide you with transferable skills that can be used in a variety of sectors.

In some instances, students may find that their chosen degree course isn’t as fulfilling as they’d hoped.  If so, don’t be afraid to explore other options and use the skills you’ve gained to forge a career in an alternative industry.

4. Expand Your Skills

Academic qualifications are certainly a great starting point if you want to build a rewarding career, but you’ll need more than a pass rate to land your dream job.  When you expand your skillset, you increase your employability and highlight your self-motivation and determination.  By choosing to learn skills that are in high demand within your chosen sector, you’ll find it easier to secure coveted roles in the future.

Many employers value candidates who can speak two or more languages, for example, which is why learning a language is a top career tip for college students.  When you learn English to intermediate or advanced level, you expand your professional horizons and ensure that you’re well-prepared to take on a wider variety of roles.  With a broad skillset, you’ll increase your value in the eyes of employers and, therefore, find it easier to secure job opportunities and graduate scheme placements.

5. Gain Work Experience

One of the top career planning tips for students is to gain as much work experience as possible.  Many companies offer short-term work experience placements (sometimes known as ‘vacation schemes’) that enable you to gain real-life experience across multiple roles.  In addition to this, there are a number of voluntary opportunities that will give you the chance to gain experience in a particular experience or role.

When you have the opportunity to gain work experience, you get a glimpse of what a particular career path looks like on a day-to-day basis, which can be invaluable when you’re deciding whether it’s the right choice for you. What’s more – you’ll learn new skills and enhance your existing talents when you gain real-world experience in your chosen industry.

6. Build a Network

A professional network enables you to connect with your peers and build connections within your preferred sectors.  Throughout your career, your network can be a valuable source of information.  You may even find a career mentor when you actively choose to build a professional network, so it’s well worth making connections at an early stage.

Remember – your network doesn’t only consist of people you’ve worked with.  Fellow students, volunteers and instructors all become part of your professional network and help to support you as you build your career.

Discover a Fun and Rewarding Career

The ideal career should be fulfilling, exciting, and challenging and your perfect role should be something you’re genuinely passionate about. While practicalities such as salary and location are important, the satisfaction you get from doing a job you love can’t be rivalled. With this in mind, put these career tips for college students into action and start planning your dream career now!

Career Guidance Tips for Students
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