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Grad scheme VS Grad job: how to choose

Since your second year at University you encounter a lot of talk about graduate jobs and graduate schemes. Surely both of them are a good kick-start for a career but, how can you decide which one is the most suitable for you?

Graduate Schemes:

The first difference between grad scheme and grad job is that the first one needs an early application, typically one year before the actual graduation. Choosing a graduate scheme means working in a professional space, typically in a big name company that will look good on your CV. You can expect high quality training during the course of your time there and you will earn more money than in a graduate job. 

Unfortunately, undertaking a graduate scheme is not all roses. These schemes are very rigid when it comes to select candidates: the number of places are limited and  you can expect to take psychometric tests and attend assessment centres. Other con, you need a certain final mark to get into these positions as the majority of graduate schemes expect a 2:1 or above. At the end of your scheme you’ll have more experience and you’ll be more confident about your skills but you’ll find yourself in the same situation of before: fighting with other graduates for a secure full-time job. 

Graduate Jobs:

Graduate jobs’ applications are not as rigid as the ones of grad schemes as there are more options: you could work in a big firm or in a small, local company. If you are selected for the position you’ll be performing the role at hand immediately; you can expect training, but in a less lengthy, structured way and you will probably be put to hand-on work more quickly. If you’re not sure about your future career path a graduate job is the right choice for you as you wouldn’t be spending a year training for a job that you’re not sure about.

On the other hand grad jobs don’t need an early application like schemes and this, sometimes, could leave you unemployed for months before finding the position that better suits you. In terms of retribution, entry-level graduate jobs wages tend to be less competitive than graduate scheme salaries.

Whether you’re looking for a graduate scheme or a graduate job, what’s important is putting your priorities first in order to choose the most suitable position for your future.


29 Apr 2021

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