So you've committed to college - perhaps for a standard two-year course after school, or perhaps for a longer programme of training and education that will lead to a qualification. But the question remains - what exactly can I do after college?
For many of us, college is simply a way to build on the foundation of learning that we achieved at school; we may not yet have a clear idea of what we want to do with our lives. And that's completely understandable, especially in a world that is changing so quickly and where new careers - and even industries - are constantly emerging.
For example, jobs in cybersecurity, fintech, blockchain or cloud computing were probably never mentioned by your school careers officer - if those roles even existed at the time! So if you're wondering what to do after college, and perhaps getting a bit stressed at the thought, here are some things to bear in mind:
Three key points when considering what to do after college
1. Education never stops
In a rapidly evolving world, it makes sense to develop a 'lifelong learning' approach in order to develop and grow as fully as possible - perhaps in a certain specialization or as a generalist who can apply their skills to a number of industries, lifestyle situations and job positions.
2. You needn't feel too much pressure
Most of us will have between 10-12 careers in our lifetimes that suit our changing lifestyle and needs - and this figure is based on the world as it stands now. The post-pandemic economy, in particular, looks very different to how it did just two years ago. Trends such as homeworking, flexible working, blockchain development, cloud deployment and broader adoption of the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) means that the working world in five years time will look very different again. The more flexible and responsive to change you can be - the better.
3. Tech will be the great enabler
Most of the challenges currently facing the world - such as the need to limit climate change and protect the environment - will be primarily supported through new and developing technologies. This means that people with tech skills will be highly in demand. You might consider developing a coding specialization or look at the business end for lifestyle apps, but the important thing is to become familiar and comfortable with tech - and to build as many skills in the field as you can.
Practical considerations to ask yourself
If you currently don't have a clear path or intended route for your working life after college, then a good place to begin is by developing solid technology and digital skills that can be applied to any industry or business problem, and then asking yourself key questions that will help to pinpoint your ideal future direction. For example:
1. What is my purpose or vision?
You may not have one yet, but you probably already have things that you are passionate about, or that guide you in a certain direction. Try creating a mood map that helps you to see certain trends or areas that light your spark and make you feel excited. Can you already think of ways that you could improve these areas, create new solutions or change the ways in which existing things are done - for the better? These could be potential areas for you.
2. Do you want to work for someone else - or for yourself?
The modern digital world means that you don't necessarily need to work for another company to create your own fulfilling career path. You might be interested in becoming a freelancer, setting up your own side-gig or eventual business or taking a more independent route to career development? Or you may prefer the idea of working for a big company and learning the ropes on the job, to progress within a large firm with exciting career routes within a structured organisation. This is a useful area to consider while you are at college, and - again - you may choose to take a hybrid route, such as by beginning your career in a business to learn the ropes and the broader operating context, while you look to develop your own business on the side. The world is your oyster, especially if you have a strong technical skillset and the ability to develop digital tools that customers want.
3. What is your preferred mode of learning?
Some people prefer traditional full-time college, but most now prefer the flexibility of intensive BootCamp style courses which can be taken at a time that suits and in a way that stimulates rapid knowledge acquisition in a certain target specialization - ideal for moving ahead fast in your chosen field, especially in rapidly growing areas such as web development, UX / UI, cybersecurity and data analytics. Once qualified the world is your oyster whether you prefer to develop your own app, become a tech apprentice, go straight into an employed role or set up your own digital business!
The world of technology desperately needs ambitious, fast-learning and motivated individuals of all ages, backgrounds and experiences; in fact, diversity is key to a successful tech future. So whatever your interest, background and desired career goal, a foundation in tech and digital can get you there fast. Visit Ironhack today to learn more about our immersive technology bootcamps, delivered remotely, part-time or full-time on campus to suit, with full ongoing careers support.