The job market for graduate students is not what it used to be. A global economic slowdown as well as other local and national forces have created a lack of opportunities for students in general. The job seeking process has become more of a challenge and it is something that students must think about well before they graduate. Here are some tips about how to survive the graduate jobs market.
It is vital to prepare early on in your pursuit of a graduate job in the current market. In the past, graduate students had little difficulty finding work, but that is no longer the case. Both undergraduate as well as graduate students are having a lot of trouble finding opportunities during and after college due to the state of the economy. The only way to prepare for this is to start early. You should develop your resume and cover letter and start marketing yourself to companies as soon as possible. Definitely stay in touch with your career services office because you should start seeing them from day one until graduation.
Keep your options open
Given that the economic situation is less than ideal, you will need to keep your options open in terms of what you are willing to accept. Unfortunately, you may have to accept work that is slightly beyond the scope of what you went to school for and be mentally prepared for that. Start thinking about all of your marketable skills, talents, and expertise because you may need them for other types of jobs in case you do not find exactly the kind of job you are looking for.
Save your money
Most graduate students will tend to work as teaching or research assistants to pay for their living expenses during school. The thing to remember is that you will need some type of cushion when you graduate and start looking for work, so you should try to save a certain amount of your income toward that purpose.
Start researching the companies and organizations that you would like to work for. This means research what they do, the corporate culture, and see if you have anyone in your network from that organization. Look at the specific position you would like to have at the organization and understand exactly what the position entails in terms of skills, compensation, and qualifications.
There is no easy way around the job seeking process and it is not something that someone else can do for you. Graduate students must compete with other graduates for work as well as more experienced professionals, so it will be a difficult process. The best thing you can do is start researching and planning out your career from the moment you step on campus.