Choose a career: find out what you want
Find out how to narrow down your career options and understand what you want from a job.
It’s not unusual to have no idea what job you want to do and, contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to know what you want to do before you use our services. This section will help you get started.
The Careers Service can support you through the process of working out what you want from a job and finding out more about any jobs which interest you. There is no doubt that the process you will go through is challenging as well as demanding of your time. It can sometimes be frustrating and certainly you will need to become used to a period of not knowing what the outcome will be. Many students who talk with a Careers Adviser and use our other services have spoken positively about how we have enabled them to work through this uncertainty.
When you have worked out what you want to do we are committed to helping you achieve your goals by supporting you through applications and interviews.
Find out what you want
There are many ways to start the process of choosing a career and a lot will depend on what you already know and the previous experiences you have had. The best way to start is to find out what you want from your work and to start to look at some jobs which you think might be of interest. If you have a few ideas of jobs that interest you then take some time to find out more about what they involve. You can keep an eye on our blog for relevant articles.
Understanding more about yourself is central to careers planning. Considering your skills, interests, personality and values will help you to make choices, identify areas for development and sell yourself. Start with the online guidance tools. You will find a variety of tools and approaches to choose from.
Your degree... what next
You may find these web pages helpful in understanding the options your degree gives you:
- Your foundation degree... what next? (AGCAS publication)
- Your masters... what next?
- Your PhD... what next?
- Your HND... what next? (AGCAS publication)
Taking a gap year
Employers can be impressed by a gap year so make sure that you make it count. For advice and ideas read our Taking a gap year leaflet.
Considering further study
We have a section of our website dedicated to this. In particular you should start with Why do postgraduate study?
Self-employment, enterprise and entrepreneurship
More graduates than before are setting up their own business after university or during their studies. If you’re considering being one of them, take a look at our self-employment page. It has lots of useful information and links to sources of advice and support both inside and outside the University.
Using your subject or not
Some students find using their subject a useful starting point to generate career ideas - see below if this appeals to you. For others, their subject is something that that they want to disregard or avoid. Our leaflet Don’t want to use your subject? addresses issues for the latter group.
Nearly half of all new graduate vacancies advertised do not ask for a specific degree subject. Of course your degree subject is important, but it doesn't define you. Employers will value the package of knowledge, skills, qualities and experience you present and they will seek it from every degree discipline. Your subject is a springboard to an array of future choices.
Information for your subject
Jobs related to your subject
Your subject might be a good starting point to thinking about possible careers. Your degree comes with a wealth of choice and opportunity, whatever you study but it doesn't always come with a specific tag or guarantee of relevant work. Start by considering how much connection you want between your degree and your working life. These two resources can be a useful starting point particularly if you are looking for jobs with a direct link:
Skills from your degree
Another way to think about your subject is to consider the skills you have developed - not just knowledge but transferable skills. This can help you to understand your own strengths and also recognise your values and interests.
Check the relevant QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for the skills your subject should be teaching you.
Specific resources for your subject
Professional bodies provide not only networks, but events, vacancies and careers information. You can find specific ones for your subject listed in our [catalogue pages] but you will find others on TotalProfessions.com. It's also worth looking for cross discipline interest groups, try online discussion groups as a start, through Jiscmail and LinkedIn.
We also produce several resources for specific subjects or sectors, see our list of publications.
Find out about occupations
We hold a full range of occupational information so that you can research your potential career in detail - head for the blue files in the Information Room. The information in these files, along with the other resources listed in the catalogue, will tell you what graduate opportunities exist in a certain field of work, how to get in, typical salaries, and further sources of information and advice.
- You can view our catalogue of resources for occupational research and working & studying abroad.
- Occupational Profiles are core reading. You can read or print copies of the profiles in the Information Room or view them in the Browse job profiles section of Prospects.ac.uk. They include links to professional bodies' sites, which are an excellent source of information about your potential career.
- Sector Briefings give you an overview of roles within a sector. View them in the Job sectors section of Prospects.ac.uk.
- Skills Development programme - Check the timetable to find out if we are running a workshop on an occupation you are interested in.
- Employer and job role research - download this helpsheet to get some advice on how to do this.
Bath graduates can help you
Bath Connection provides a secure online platform for you to network with our Alumni Experts. These are Bath graduates who are willing to talk to Bath students (and graduates) about working for their employer, what's involved in their job and also diversity issues. It includes a wide range of graduate employers and types of role from the high profile to the more unusual, and can be searched by department of study. Find out more about Bath Connection.
Online guidance tools
There are a range of online tools that can help you understand what career options interest you and help you develop career-relevant skills.
Team Focus Personal and Careers Development Reports
These assessments will help you gain an understanding of yourself. This can help you with career development and choices but also development in other areas such as study skills and relationships.
Prospects Career Planner
This is a web-based self-assessment tool which can help you:
- Identify what you want out of a job; generate new job ideas and check out your existing ones.
- Find out what motivates you in a job; identify your skills and what you can offer to the job/employer.
- See how these match the jobs you are considering.
- Research your chosen jobs in more detail, compare your options and decide on the right choices for you.
Initially you should anticipate spending at least an hour with Prospects Career Planner. You can use it as a basis for a discussion with a Careers Adviser who will help you interpret your results.
Skills Centre and Bath Award
Use these to find out how you can develop some career-relevant skills during your time at Bath that will make you more employable.
The Skills Centre area has material on a range of topics such as:
- Group work
- Information skills
- Mathermatics and statistics
- PDP (Personal Development Planning)
- Time management
- Verbal communication
- Writing skills
The Bath Award recognises and accredits the skills and achievements of students engaged in all types of extra-curricular activities. It operates alongside your degree programme and aims to capture the benefits you have gained from all aspects of your university life that you will find valuable in your future life and career.