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Graduate Programs vs. Graduate Positions

July 28, 2016 by Liz Green

Graduate Programs  vs. Graduate Positions

As you get closer to finishing your studies and joining the workforce as a graduate, ‘job applications’ are probably sneaking onto your to-do lists. Luckily there’s lots of practical help available, but job seeking is a time-consuming task.

If you have a clear understanding of your skills, goals and values, you can tailor your job search to include employers and positions that align with these.

Another approach is to consider what type of grad role most appeals to you. Would you prefer to apply for a graduate program or a graduate position? If you’re not entirely sure what the difference is, don’t worry, it can be confusing.

Both options are usually open to new or recent grads, but graduate programs tend to only accept applications at specific times of the year, whereas graduate positions can be advertised at any time.

Here are some other features of each option to help you assess which one is more suitable for you.

Graduate Programs:

  • are open to new or recent graduates but accept applications from students prior to graduation – usually during the last year of uni – and for a few years after, with a start date early in the following year;
  • can be industry specific but some encourage applicants from a wide range of degree disciplines;
  • are typically structured to incorporate a combination of on-the-job training, professional development, mentoring and rotation through different areas of the business for set durations;
  • are usually offered by government departments or large organisations;
  • offer entry-level positions that provide opportunities to develop practical management skills as the program progresses.

Graduate Positions:

  • are jobs where the position requires all candidates to have completed a degree – usually in a discipline related to the role;
  • have a recruitment process that is generally faster than a graduate program, although not necessarily easier;
  • often include professional development and on-the-job learning, but in a less structured format than a grad program;
  • can be available within any organisation and are not always entry-level roles – the applicant requirements stated in the ad will indicate what sort of grad the employer is seeking.

Want to know more? Call, or drop in to Curtin’s Careers & Employment Centre.

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