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Taking the next step: The benefits of going to college after university

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You’ve graduated. Now what?

You’re probably wondering, “Do I have enough education to get the type of job I want? Will I have enough experience to be hired?” These are questions many of us struggle with as we complete our university degrees and start thinking about our future careers.

Some careers, such as teaching, require the completion of a teachers college diploma. Other professions, such as practicing law or medicine, require admissions tests and years of graduate studies.

But what about business, marketing or public relations graduates? Is college really worth the extra year of tuition, essays, expensive books and cramming for exams?

The answer is yes. Although the decision to return to school is not for everyone, for certain types of careers it’s beneficial to gain that extra education and experience.

What a college education can offer university graduates

University graduates with a college diploma under their belt will have a little extra something most competitors applying to the same job will not have, especially in competitive fields where having an edge over other applicants is crucial.

While this is not true for all career types, it often applies to fields such as marketing, communications, advertising and public relations.

Employers recognize practical knowledge is often not taught in university classrooms. Having a BA in sociology or English is great. It probably means you’re a critical thinker, a great writer and a fast learner, but sometimes it’s not enough. It becomes even more obvious during tough economic times, such as now, when employers are hiring fewer people to cut costs.

Specifically, employers are currently looking for knowledge and experience with emerging technologies and social media. College programs are very specialized in ways most university programs are not, and they prepare students to meet the specific day-to-day demands of their chosen field.

Gain some real-world experience

Another attractive and beneficial aspect to college is the co-op opportunity. It can be difficult to get a meaningful entry-level position without any experience, so a co-op position through your college program is one way to gain that needed experience. Many college programs have mandatory co-op opportunities to push students into the working world.

From the experience, students can gain important contacts and use their networking skills to make it easier to find a job after the completion of their program. Often, employers will even ask their co-op students to stay with them and become a full-time employee if the student does a good enough job.

Do what’s best for you

College after graduation is not for everyone. The decision ultimately comes down to the specific requirements for the field of work you have chosen.

Although college is beneficial for many who aren’t sure how to get a job after university and do not have the required experience, for many others, it may not be necessary or even possible. It comes down to what you need for your situation and researching what path is best for you.

Get the information you need

Check out which programs colleges near where you’re living offer to see if they have what you need. If you’re not set on a particular location, try to find out which colleges have a good reputation for practical experience in your industry.

By Shannon FarrellTalentEgg.ca

TalentEgg is Canada’s leading online career resource for students and recent graduates.

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