'I've graduated – what next?' Guardian Careers Q&A

Yesterday, Inspiring Interns’ CEO Ben Rosen took part in a live web chat hosted by Guardian Careers. The subject was ‘I’ve graduated – what next?’ and Ben was one of a panel of careers experts on hand to give out advice to confused or concerned graduates. It was a lively and engaging discussion, with plenty of questions to keep him busy, so we thought we’d do a summary for those of you who couldn’t make it (either due to the fact you were busy securing your future at the Guardian graduate fair or you were settling down to watch the football in your local…).

One question that repeatedly came up was whether doing a Masters was a worthwhile investment, in terms of time and money, when it came to finding a job. One graduate was interested in pursuing a career in public policy and wanted to know whether a Masters would be a good idea. The general consensus among the panel was that doing a Masters shouldn’t be used a last resort because job hunting has proved unsuccessful. They can prove expensive and with increasing numbers of graduates resorting to them they are no longer as valuable as they once were. Most of the panel suggested that work experience is now considered more valuable to employers than a further qualification, something we have experience first hand here at Inspiring.

Another big worry among graduates was the state of the economy and the effect on job prospects. Despite the fact that there are fewer opportunities out there and as a result, graduate jobs have become fiercely competitive, graduates shouldn’t lose hope. Job hunters simply need to find innovative and resourceful ways to proactively search for and create opportunities, such as using online networks. For hints and tips on using social media for job hunting, check out our blog post here. New emerging industries such as social media are always on the hunt for internet savvy graduates, so you may find that the ability to arrange nights out on Facebook and stalk Lindsay Lohan’s every move on Twitter are actually considered valuable skills in the workplace.

You can look at the Guardian Careers Q&A here to look at the discussion in full. The panel gave excellent responses to all the questions, so if you’re confused or worried about life after graduation, it’s well worth a read.