We tend to consider the first stage of our career to be a simple 3-stage process.

  • Stage 1: Study for a degree
  • Stage 2: Graduate from university
  • Stage 3: Land a graduate job

While for some people it may in fact work out like this, in truth there are far more options available to us than this simple outline suggests.

Despite the fact you are likely to be kept pretty busy during your studies, it’s often not a great idea to wait until after university is over to enter the labour market and start gaining work experience.

Through thesis and project work, volunteering, and interning you can do a lot to further your career before your studies are over.

Once graduated, your horizons don’t get any narrower. New graduates have to decide between graduate programmes (or ‘graduate schemes’) and ordinary full time jobs, but may also want to consider PhD and research positions too.

Beyond that, there is the possibility of working more flexibly in order to better fit your life around your work, or to help you find a clear future career trajectory. Here, part-time, temporary, and freelance work are all possibilities.

Graduateland is Europe’s largest career portal for graduates and students, and is designed for those facing exactly these choices.

In this guide we will cover the 10 categories of job that can be found using the Graduateland job search:

  • Thesis
  • Projects
  • Voluntary work
  • Internships
  • Graduate programmes
  • Full time jobs
  • PhD / research jobs
  • Part-time jobs
  • Temporary positions
  • Freelance


Depending on your course of study, you may be able to pursue a thesis project with a third party as part of your degree.

These opportunities are typically well-defined projects listed by universities, not-for-profit organizations, or private companies. Be sure to apply for these positions well in advance of beginning your thesis.

Working with a third party on your thesis project offers the chance to work with new people in a professional environment, gaining valuable experience while developing your skills and interpersonal abilities.

Find thesis projects on Graduateland

(Tip: often you need pre-approval from your university or study counsellor to be sure that a project or thesis found on Graduateland can be accepted as part of your education. Please contact the right people in plenty of time to ensure that you're choosing the right project.)


On Graduateland you will find a variety of projects with third parties that can be pursued during your studies. (These needn’t be part of your formal curriculum, such as for your thesis, but may count toward work experience requirements).

Unlike thesis projects that are designed to fulfill certain academic requirements, vacancies listed under the ‘projects’ category will include a wider variety of activities and responsibilities.

You will be undertaking these projects as a volunteer, but can use the opportunities to further your skills and experience in your chosen field before entering the labour market as a graduate.

Find projects on Graduateland

(Tip: often you need pre-approval from your university or study counsellor to be sure that a project or thesis found on Graduateland can be accepted as part of your education. Please contact the right people in plenty of time to ensure that you're choosing the right project.)

Voluntary work

Unlike vacancies listed under ‘projects’, voluntary work listed on Graduateland will not necessarily involve work on a single project, and may be much closer to taking on a “real job”.

Though less formal than an internship, voluntary work will involve performing the tasks of an entry-level position in your chosen field or area, giving you experience of the workplace and of meeting the demands of professional responsibility.

As a volunteer, especially during your studies, you can expect to be exposed to a work environment without the same expectations as those placed on an intern or full employee.

Find voluntary work on Graduateland


Becoming an intern is a very popular method of gaining professional experience in advance of securing your first proper graduate job, and there are a great many internship opportunities listed on Graduateland throughout the year.

Internships are often undertaken by graduates, but it may be possible to pursue an internship while studying.

Read the Graduateland guide to internships

Internships are also useful for changing direction once your career is already under way.

Find internships on Graduateland

Graduate programmes

Also known as ‘graduate schemes’, graduate programmes are structured full time jobs for graduates, usually for a fixed term of less than three years.

Read everything you need to know about graduate programmes

Graduate programmes are a very attractive option for graduates as they involve comprehensive skills development and training, mentoring, and rotations across different business areas and departments.

Find graduate programmes on Graduateland

Full time jobs

This category covers ordinary full time job vacancies listed on Graduateland. The advantage of full time jobs over graduate programmes is that these positions often come with a permanent, rather than fixed-term, contract.

Find full time jobs on Graduateland

PhD / research jobs

For those considering further study, PhD or other research positions may be an attractive option. Developing your academic qualifications further within your chosen field can often enhance your job prospects considerably, proving your commitment and raising your skill level.

Research projects are often posted by universities, but many are also administered and funded by private and public companies, meaning these positions can bridge the gap between industry and academia.

Find PhD / research jobs on Graduateland

Part time jobs

As a graduate, there are a number of reasons why you may be attracted to part time work.

Part time positions can allow you to try out a given field or industry before committing to a permanent full time position. Part time work can be pursued alongside other work or studies, giving you the chance to develop a greater range of skills at one time.

This may be especially suitable for you if you’re unsure about the direction of your future career, or if you’re moving from one field of work to another.

Find part time work on Graduateland

Temporary positions

Short, fixed-term roles can be valuable for graduate job seekers looking to gain specific skills and experience in a particular field or industry. Some temporary positions may in this way function like paid internships.

Otherwise, temporary positions are suitable for those who are not currently able to commit for the long-term.

Find temporary positions on Graduateland


With the proliferation of digital tools making remote and flexible working easier, freelance jobs are becoming more common across a variety of fields, from design to programming to consultancy.

Freelance positions are less secure than full time or part time jobs, but are typically more flexible and subject to change over time. Freelance work can be combined with a broad range of other types of work.

Find freelance work on Graduateland

Ready for LIVE?