When you first start searching for employment you will come across a number of different terms in the industry, such as graduate jobs, graduate programs, graduate schemes, internships, entry-level jobs etc etc!
This can be a little confusing at times however there are some key differences between them all which is useful to know when job hunting. Understanding these differences will help you search for jobs that will be most relevant for your career, speed up your search and help launch your career more efficiently and effectively.
Today, let’s take a look at the difference between graduate jobs and graduate programs.
Graduate jobs are those jobs that are targeted towards newly graduated students across all industries. Basically, they are entry-level jobs that can be full-time, part-time, casual or contracting roles.
Graduate jobs normally come without any ongoing formal structure to them. You are hired into these roles to perform the role at hand.
These roles are fantastic for those graduates looking to get a foot in the door into an organisation or industry that they would love to work in. Graduate jobs are also a fantastic way of quickly getting an idea of what the type of work involves and what work excites you.
Examples might include:
- Sales Representative
- Account Coordinator
- Administration Officer
- Customer Service Representative
- HR Officer
- Recruitment Coordinator/Consultant
On many occasions, graduate jobs will have titles ending in administrator, coordinator, assistant, officer or executive. Seeing roles with these titles can help indicate to you that you may have the right level of experience to apply.
As opposed to graduate programs, there is less structure to your standard graduate job. Hence, as a new graduate, it’s important that you take it upon yourself to build your personal brand, build your networks and find opportunities for your own professional development.
Graduate programs on the other hand are more structured in their approach.
These are called programs because there is normally an element of formal education that comes with these types of roles and they are normally for a set period of time.
A typical graduate program would go for one to two years and involve formal induction and on boarding, training and development and provide you with access to senior management to support you grow within the organisation.
Graduate programs are highly competitive because of the fantastic training and development opportunities provided. Employers also compete for the highest quality graduates and hence recruitment for graduate programs typically takes place a year in advance, normally between February and April for students to commence the following year.
When searching for graduate programs, make sure you check out the Top 10 Things to Look for in Every Graduate Program.
Is a Graduate Job or Graduate Program right for me?
Graduate programs are great for building broad experience and getting groomed for senior leadership positions. However, not all graduate programs are created equal.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get onto a graduate program. Finding a graduate job can actually be a better way of getting a more robust grounding in your profession. They enable you to spend considerable time building your understanding of a topic area which can help propel your career well into the future.
Both avenues have their advantages and disadvantages. Most importantly, both avenues will provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and capability. After all, this is what it’s all about!