For some, knowing which path to choose after university is an easy decision to make. Many decide before they even enter university what they want to do in terms of a career. Alternatively, there are many graduates who have completed non-vocational graduate degrees and do not have an inkling of what will satisfy them in the employment world.

Firstly it must be said that this is not uncommon and should not be fretted over. It is perfectly natural to get an idea of what you enjoy doing by trying different sectors first. However, many who have completed non-vocational graduate degrees ask the very understandable question, what graduate jobs are available to me?

Obviously this depends on exactly what graduate degree you completed, but in general the answer is that there are quite a lot of doors open to you. The reason for this is that many degrees that do not lead specifically to a certain career path have skills that are widely applicable and desired by employers. For example, a degree in history, English literature or philosophy proves that you have very high analytical and research skills. Furthermore, they all require one to have very good written communication skills which in many cases (especially with philosophy) are employed to explain complicated concepts.

These skills do naturally have their limits as do any others within the working world. If you have recently finished a politics degree there's little chance of you becoming a chemical engineer. With that said, someone with a humanities degree can enter jobs within the fields of marketing, politics, PR, finance, sales, defence, the media and many more.

As you can see a non-vocational degree is very beneficial and useful (however I have heard that the above is not necessarily true in other countries such as the United States) yet as with everything, it comes with its drawbacks.

The most prominent negative of having a non-vocational degree is that it is harder to get a job initially and this is due to two main reasons. The first is that you have to go to greater extents to prove yourself as the right candidate for the job because you do not have the precise skills that the employer is looking for. You have to sell yourself as being well organised and an original thinker for example, things that are not necessarily a product of a non-vocational degree. In contrast, someone with a degree in medicine is perfectly suited to become a junior doctor because the graduate degree is geared towards that field of work.

The second reason why it is harder for those with non-vocational degrees to land a job is that there is a lot more competition for each vacancy. This makes sense if you think that for a role as a chemical engineer there are only those with chemistry degrees applying, for a role as a marketing assistant there are people applying with a wide range of degrees varying from marketing itself (the vocational) to English literature, history and so on.

It is safe to assume that if you have completed a non-vocational degree that the job you are looking for is possible to attain. The skills gained from such a graduate degree are widely applicable in the workplace and some that more focused degrees may not necessarily provide. The best exercise to do is to think of the sector you wish to work in and "pitch" to yourself how the skills you gained from your degree could be applied to a job within that sector. Not only will this clarify to yourself how your degree is useful but in interviews employers will undoubtedly want to know what you see as the beneficial assets of your graduate degree.