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What can I do after university?

What can I do after university? I am about to finish my engineering degree which I absolutely hate and I want to change my career path. I don't have any work experience in engineering and I have no transferrable skills, which means that none of the graduate programmes will be able to accept me.

Also, I am most likely going to get a 3rd or a 2.2 degree which is even more useless. All in all, I wasted three years of my life doing a degree that's useless and I can't do anything with it. The only thing I could do with it is apply for British citizenship to prove my level of English, but that's about it.

I am considering doing a Level 2 apprenticeship in retail, because I have no soft skills and I don't see how I would be eligible to apply for anything else. I have no experience in anything. If I apply for apprenticeships, I will probably remove my degree from my CV because it will only hold me back because I don't want employers to think that I am overqualified for a role. Apart from apprenticeships, what are my other options?
Original post by bigcat244x
What can I do after university? I am about to finish my engineering degree which I absolutely hate and I want to change my career path. I don't have any work experience in engineering and I have no transferrable skills, which means that none of the graduate programmes will be able to accept me.

Also, I am most likely going to get a 3rd or a 2.2 degree which is even more useless. All in all, I wasted three years of my life doing a degree that's useless and I can't do anything with it. The only thing I could do with it is apply for British citizenship to prove my level of English, but that's about it.

I am considering doing a Level 2 apprenticeship in retail, because I have no soft skills and I don't see how I would be eligible to apply for anything else. I have no experience in anything. If I apply for apprenticeships, I will probably remove my degree from my CV because it will only hold me back because I don't want employers to think that I am overqualified for a role. Apart from apprenticeships, what are my other options?


Doing a level 2 apprenticeship is absolutely insane. That is equivalent to GCSE level i.e. exams people in the UK sit when they are 15-16. Removing your degree won't help either - they will ask what you have been up to the past few years and they will ask about your education.

Most graduates do not have any form of work experience - that is why graduate schemes exist. You only need to be able to pass psychometric tests and assessment centres. That does not require work experience (although it helps).

Some graduate schemes will accept a 2:2 e.g. Civil Service. You can also go into teaching. Take a gap year if necessary and work out what you want to do and dedicate time to apply. Job hunting sucks but you do not want to be going down from a Level 6 qualification (an honours degree) to a Level 2 (GCSE/BTEC).
Original post by Blue_Cow
Doing a level 2 apprenticeship is absolutely insane. That is equivalent to GCSE level i.e. exams people in the UK sit when they are 15-16. Removing your degree won't help either - they will ask what you have been up to the past few years and they will ask about your education.

Most graduates do not have any form of work experience - that is why graduate schemes exist. You only need to be able to pass psychometric tests and assessment centres. That does not require work experience (although it helps).

Some graduate schemes will accept a 2:2 e.g. Civil Service. You can also go into teaching. Take a gap year if necessary and work out what you want to do and dedicate time to apply. Job hunting sucks but you do not want to be going down from a Level 6 qualification (an honours degree) to a Level 2 (GCSE/BTEC).

I understand, but I can't do anything. I have no transferable skills and I can't get through their recruitment process because they're too hard. I tried to apply for companies like PwC and DHL, and even though they ask for no work experience, they clearly do want you to have work experience because they're looking for specific skills that are only possible to get through work experience, for example working under pressure or having good teamwork skills. I don't have the things that even graduate recruitment people are looking for. I am essentially screwed. All graduate schemes are too competitive and the last time I was in an assessment centre, everyone was much stronger and able than I was.

Basically, I can't do anything. I hate teaching. Teaching is one of the jobs that I don't want to do ever in my life because I hate children and I wouldn't be a good teacher. I can't apply for civil service, because I am not a British citizen (at least not yet anyway). I have no idea what to do. My options are kind of limited and as I said, graduate schemes are far too competitive and ideally they would require you to have work experience. I think that doing level 2 retail apprenticeship would probably be the best option for me.
Original post by bigcat244x
I understand, but I can't do anything. I have no transferable skills and I can't get through their recruitment process because they're too hard. I tried to apply for companies like PwC and DHL, and even though they ask for no work experience, they clearly do want you to have work experience because they're looking for specific skills that are only possible to get through work experience, for example working under pressure or having good teamwork skills. I don't have the things that even graduate recruitment people are looking for. I am essentially screwed. All graduate schemes are too competitive and the last time I was in an assessment centre, everyone was much stronger and able than I was.

Basically, I can't do anything. I hate teaching. Teaching is one of the jobs that I don't want to do ever in my life because I hate children and I wouldn't be a good teacher. I can't apply for civil service, because I am not a British citizen (at least not yet anyway). I have no idea what to do. My options are kind of limited and as I said, graduate schemes are far too competitive and ideally they would require you to have work experience. I think that doing level 2 retail apprenticeship would probably be the best option for me.


>they're looking for specific skills that are only possible to get through work experience, for example working under pressure or having good teamwork skills

Those skills you would have gained throughout your degree programme, surely? Group projects, juggling multiple close deadlines etc. You just need to be able to frame any experience (no matter how small) in a way that is marketable. Look up the STAR format.

>All graduate schemes are too competitive

It's a numbers game. Keep practicing your psychometric tests. Plenty of graduates do not get an offer lined up before they graduate and take the year out to apply instead. They are competitive because they are worth it.

Look at this sankey diagram from r/dataisbeautiful:



>I think that doing level 2 retail apprenticeship would probably be the best option for me.

IMO going in as a regular or temp employee instead of an apprentice and then climbing your way up to store/regional management is probably better than going in as an apprentice. I am sure you are not as incapable as you seem to portray yourself as.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Blue_Cow
>they're looking for specific skills that are only possible to get through work experience, for example working under pressure or having good teamwork skills

Those skills you would have gained throughout your degree programme, surely? Group projects, juggling multiple close deadlines etc. You just need to be able to frame any experience (no matter how small) in a way that is marketable. Look up the STAR format.

>All graduate schemes are too competitive

It's a numbers game. Keep practicing your psychometric tests. Plenty of graduates do not get an offer lined up before they graduate and take the year out to apply instead. They are competitive because they are worth it.

Look at this sankey diagram from r/dataisbeautiful:



>I think that doing level 2 retail apprenticeship would probably be the best option for me.

IMO going in as a regular or temp employee instead of an apprentice and then climbing your way up to store/regional management is probably better than going in as an apprentice. I am sure you are not as incapable as you seem to portray yourself as.

You are correct to say that those transferable skills would be acquired through university, however in most cases, they want you to gain skills outside university. For example, when I had a 1 to 1 interview with a company, they asked me to give examples outside university and in most cases, university isn't enough to gain all the skills that they're looking for. I have done some engineering group projects and an individual project, but apart from that I have no other examples where I had to work under pressure or show my teamwork skills. Most of my time at university was focused on studying. I barely have any transferrable skills.

As you have said, I'll probably take a year out. I'll get a temporary role in retail and try to look for jobs for the year 2023? Because I definitely don't think I will get a proper job when I graduate in the summer. I am way past the deadline for most graduate schemes anyway.

Believe it or not, I am absolutely useless. I have no soft skills. I am also considering doing a degree apprenticeship in one of the following areas: finance, retail management, supply chain and logistics and software development. The worst thing is that I still have no idea what I want to do in life. I just have no passion for anything. I have some interests, but I don't have passions. My life is over and I have no future.
If you're just going to create dead ends for yourself with your negativity when solutions and advice is put forward then why are you posting here?

You're self-inflicting death.
Reply 6
Original post by username5944626
You are correct to say that those transferable skills would be acquired through university, however in most cases, they want you to gain skills outside university. For example, when I had a 1 to 1 interview with a company, they asked me to give examples outside university and in most cases, university isn't enough to gain all the skills that they're looking for. I have done some engineering group projects and an individual project, but apart from that I have no other examples where I had to work under pressure or show my teamwork skills. Most of my time at university was focused on studying. I barely have any transferrable skills.

As you have said, I'll probably take a year out. I'll get a temporary role in retail and try to look for jobs for the year 2023? Because I definitely don't think I will get a proper job when I graduate in the summer. I am way past the deadline for most graduate schemes anyway.

Believe it or not, I am absolutely useless. I have no soft skills. I am also considering doing a degree apprenticeship in one of the following areas: finance, retail management, supply chain and logistics and software development. The worst thing is that I still have no idea what I want to do in life. I just have no passion for anything. I have some interests, but I don't have passions. My life is over and I have no future.


You said you were on course to still obtain a 2.2 so that is not useless by any means. You can still apply to many graduate roles which "only" ask for a 2.2. Ideally you should actually speak with your university as soon as possible and discuss the issues you are having. You may be able to retake a year or certainly have "extenuating circumstances" because it seems that you are struggling mentally to cope with things. Your university should offer counselling services as well. Do this now before you graduate - it is not too late to get advice or support.

You can build up additional skills with voluntary roles in your local area. There are always voluntary roles available and it will give you immediate experience in basic areas such as admin, customer service and working under pressure.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by 0le
You said you were on course to still obtain a 2.2 so that is not useless by any means. You can still apply to many graduate roles which "only" ask for a 2.2. Ideally you should actually speak with your university as soon as possible and discuss the issues you are having. You may be able to retake a year or certainly have "extenuating circumstances" because it seems that you are struggling mentally to cope with things. Your university should offer counselling services as well. Do this now before you graduate - it is not too late to get advice or support.

You can build up additional skills with voluntary roles in your local area. There are always voluntary roles available and it will give you immediate experience in basic areas such as admin, customer service and working under pressure.

Yeah, that's probably the best advice. I will try to speak to the careers advisors once again and see what they think. I just wanted to post the question on here to see if people know certain tricks or could give tips on how to get a some kind of smaller graduate role. I don't think that I have any 'extenuating circumstances'. I just hate my degree and I am not doing well in it. That's purely my own problem and it wouldn't count as an extenuating circumstance.

I think that having a temporary role in retail or warehouse is better than voluntary roles, because I will get a chance to build on my transferable skills whilst I am being paid. Voluntary roles are unpaid, even though I would be gaining the same skills. At the moment, my plan is to get a job in retail in the summer and apply for every possible graduate scheme when applications start in September. Thank you for your help anyway!
Original post by username5944626
You are correct to say that those transferable skills would be acquired through university, however in most cases, they want you to gain skills outside university. For example, when I had a 1 to 1 interview with a company, they asked me to give examples outside university and in most cases, university isn't enough to gain all the skills that they're looking for. I have done some engineering group projects and an individual project, but apart from that I have no other examples where I had to work under pressure or show my teamwork skills. Most of my time at university was focused on studying. I barely have any transferrable skills.

As you have said, I'll probably take a year out. I'll get a temporary role in retail and try to look for jobs for the year 2023? Because I definitely don't think I will get a proper job when I graduate in the summer. I am way past the deadline for most graduate schemes anyway.

Believe it or not, I am absolutely useless. I have no soft skills. I am also considering doing a degree apprenticeship in one of the following areas: finance, retail management, supply chain and logistics and software development. The worst thing is that I still have no idea what I want to do in life. I just have no passion for anything. I have some interests, but I don't have passions. My life is over and I have no future.

Of course you have skills - working in a group, meeting deadlines, etc etc.

Did you opt for a year in industry? Did you join any sports teams or clubs?

Go to the careers team at the uni and get some advice - do not do a level 2 qualification.
Original post by Muttley79
Of course you have skills - working in a group, meeting deadlines, etc etc.

Did you opt for a year in industry? Did you join any sports teams or clubs?

Go to the careers team at the uni and get some advice - do not do a level 2 qualification.

Yes, but I had an interview with a company literally a week ago and they were asking me to provide examples specifically outside university. They were asking me a lot of competency based questions like 'describe a time you had to work under pressure' or 'describe a time you had to deal with multiple priorities at once' and I find these questions a bit hard to answer, especially with barely any work experience.

No, I am doing a 3 year engineering degree without a year in industry, although I wish I had chosen a BEng degree with a year in industry, but it's too late now I think. No, I didn't join any sports teams, because sports don't really interest me that much, apart from basketball maybe, but I didn't think I would be able to fit basketball into my personal timetable anyway. I was part of a German society in my second year, but then I realised that I don't really fit in and I quit.

I will take your advice and I will not do a level 2 qualification yet. I will try to get some advice from uni and this time I will see them in person, rather than through microsoft teams and see what they think. However, I don't think that they'll be able to help me much. I don't have any passions for anything, which makes things so much more difficult.
Original post by 436321sfda
but I didn't think I would be able to fit basketball into my personal timetable anyway


I don't think you have a busy personal timetable if you're on the verge of getting a 3rd lmao

Hey mate, my course is not easy. Regardless what you think. In my course, you need to put the work in just to get a 3rd or a 2.2. The exams are insanely hard and it's not a mickey mouse degree. I have done an aerothermodynamics module in semester 1 and the average module mark for this module was 54%. Now that's just the module mark with coursework. Can you imagine what the average exam mark was? It was probably just over 40%. Most students have done badly. The degree is very hard and they have very high expectations on what we are able to do in the exam based on what we learn.

Also, I was on track getting a 2.1 in my second year because I averaged over 60%. It was only in my third year that I have messed up and found the exam and the content too difficult to understand. First and second years were quite busy and every week we were bombarded with assignments and lecture content. It would've been impossible to fit in things like basketball into my plans, because I was stressing about the exams.

Thirdly, I said I might get a 3rd, but I am actually more likely to get a 2.2, based on my calculations so far, but we'll see in the summer.
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(edited 1 year ago)

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