What kind of job do I want?

When you’ve never had a ‘career job’ before, it’s hard to really know what’s out there. Discover different sectors, roles and types of job you might be looking to apply for. 

When we think about jobs, the first things that come to mind are often more ‘traditional’ professions – like a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer, etc. But most people do other things, and with the job market constantly evolving – there's probably a million roles out there you don’t even know about. 

Think less about job roles, and more about your skills and interests. What can you bring to a role? What sector interests you the most? Have an explore – and maybe you’ll be closer to finding what kind of job you want. 

Explore job sectors via Prospects 

Graduate schemes 

Grad schemes typically begin recruitment up to a year in advance, with rigorous application processes and multiple interview stages. You’ll need to do plenty of research (we can help!) before you send off your application. See this graduate recruitment timeline to get an overview of typical timescales. 

Graduate jobs 

...or just normal jobs! ‘Graduate jobs’ just means jobs where they’re willing to hire graduates, and there’s loads of them. As a graduate, your qualifications are attractive to all sorts of companies. 

By working for a smaller company who hires you as a grad, as opposed to getting into a high-profile grad scheme, you might be the only grad in the company and you’ll be working alongside (and learning from) senior staff. Unlike more formal graduate schemes, vacancies for graduate jobs are also likely to be advertised all year round.

Use the job websites here to find opportunities for you. 

Self-employment / freelancing 

Running your own business is an increasingly popular option for graduates, and we have specialist support. ‘Spark’, our business start-up service, is available to all students whilst at Leeds, and for five years after graduation.  

If you are feeling entrepreneurial, come to us with your business idea and we can offer expert advice, support, and even preliminary funding. 

Internships and work experience 

Work experience is a great opportunity to build experience and relationships with employers – and often leads to full-time graduate jobs if you make a good impression. Formal undergraduate internship programmes tend to begin in September or early summer, with applications opening in the spring or previous autumn. Graduate internships or placements can begin anytime. 

We have a dedicated internship scheme with roles exclusive to University of Leeds students – this means there’s less competition in the application process, plus we can guide you through it! Find out more about our Exclusive to Leeds roles.


Voluntary organisations are always in need of enthusiastic helpers – and it can be a great way to gain skills, experience and industry contacts, particularly if you’re hoping to work in the charity sector. We advertise many volunteering opportunities on MyCareer