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Career Options in Health & Social Care: Graduate

The undergraduate days are over and you’re now faced with the prospect of waving goodbye to university and going out into the big bad world and finding yourself a job in the health and social care industry.

Graduate opportunities

- Gap year

- Graduate Entry Programme

- Entry level jobs

You may think we’re talking silly when we suggest a gap year, but it can prove to be very useful experience for aspiring health care professionals. If you’re wanting to become a doctor, you could take a gap year with a company called Gap Medics, who run a graduate schemes where you can work in the industry in Central Europe, Thailand or Tanzania.

If you haven’t studied medicine at degree level, but still want to become a doctor, the Graduate Entry Programme could be there option for you. This allows you to complete a medicine degree in four years rather than the usual five. Students who usually take up this option have a science related degree, so those without one are recommend to undertake the Access to Medicine course.

Entry level jobs are a third option. With our beloved NHS the largest employer for healthcare professionals, there are numerous other avenues you can explore. For example, if you’re a physiotherapist, nothing stops you from getting a job in a private practice or at a sports club. Additionally, if you’ve graduated with a speech and language therapy degree, you could work in a local school helping young children who have speech problems. If you’re a budding pharmacist, why not send off a few job applications to become a clinical pharmacist.

Will my degree do?

If you’ve done a related degree to the job you want to do, i.e. you’ve done dentistry and want to be a dentist, your degree is enough. It goes without saying that if you’ve done an English Literature degree you won’t be able to stroll into a career as a GP doctor. You will have to complete the Access to Medicine course followed by a Graduate Entry Programme degree at medical school.

For pharmaceutical jobs, degrees in biochemistry or biomedical sciences and pharmacy itself will be enough. As the industry is so competitive and highly skilled, employers will prefer candidates with a 2:1 or first class degree mark.

Is postgraduate study necessary?

As highlighted above, not if you’ve done a specialist course. However, if you studied biochemistry but weren’t too keen on following a career in the pharmaceutical sector, you could study a medicine undergraduate degree after you’ve graduated. However, if you’ve done a medicine degree, you’re a fully qualified doctor and are now ready to get applying for jobs!