Upsides and Downsides of Graduate Training Schemes
There’s no denying the huge benefits of securing a place on a decent graduate scheme, especially if it’s in a field that you want to forge a career in.
Upsides of graduate training schemes
Here are some of the key benefits you can expect from a graduate training scheme:
- The training you’ll receive will be of the highest standard (and you get paid while you’re at it). Even if you decide not to stay with the company for your entire working life, it’s a great way to kick-start your career.
- You’ll have a great reference when applying for new positions in your industry.
- You’re likely to receive a starting income on the higher scale of graduate salaries (for example, Aldi starts management graduates off on a salary of £44,000 and gives them an Audi!).
- There may be opportunities to travel if the company’s global.
- You’ll be rubbing shoulders with influential people and making great contacts.
- You will develop important career skills in an environment that is designed to help graduates transition from uni to work.
- A graduate program is like a stepping stone into work, allowing you to build workplace confidence rather than being thrown into the deep end of the job market.
Downsides of graduate training schemes
As this guide is here to give you a balanced overview of the opportunities involved in training schemes, it’s only fair to mention some of the possible drawbacks involved in the whole process.
Here are some of the potential drawbacks of graduate schemes to consider before applying:
- Application processes can be really competitive.
- It can take up a lot of time to fill out applications, and they need to be high quality if you want to be in with a shot – focus your time on applying for the jobs you really want and have a good chance of getting.
- Some graduate schemes will require you to pay back some money if you leave early to cover “training costs”.
- Most training schemes require at least a 2:1 degree, but you still have good options if you’re on track for a 2.2.
- The variety of tasks involved in some graduate training schemes can be minimal, and you’ll often have to work your way up from the bottom. This requires patience and won’t suit everyone – particularly those keen to take on maximum responsibility as soon as they get through the door.
- You might be required to travel a lot, or even asked to relocate to a new city.
- A graduate program is rarely a 9–5 job. You may be expected to work late, from home and maybe even on weekends (if you’re really unlucky).
Graduate Scheme Alternative
What if you don’t like your graduate scheme or you don’t get the one you applied for?
Although graduate training schemes are the perfect option for many students, it’s also important to remember that there are plenty of other opportunities that are open to you after university.
In fact, we’ve got a whole guide dedicated to exploring the alternatives to graduate schemes here.
Good luck with your applications, and don’t forget to double (and triple!).