Lately we are seeing quite a few students trying to weigh up whether to look for a job in an area they don't quite meet the requirements for, or to spend a year studying for a masters degree to bolster their qualifications and fill a perceived skills gap. So they come to us saying 'which one should I do?'
Now, we can do many things as Careers Advisers. We can (help) turn the shyest of students into a more confident person, ready to face an interviewer. We can (help you) refine your job seeking strategy. We can even (help you) write the perfect cover letter to the organisation you really want to work for.
But what we cannot do is make decisions for you. Of course we *could*, but we don't. Because then it becomes our career plan, not *your* career plan. And that one-letter-difference is the most important difference there is.
What we can do is help you run through pros and cons of various options: does the job you want to do really require a masters? what 'other experience' will help you get the job even if you don't have an exactly matching degree? which would companies prefer?
You will hear a lot of the Careers Adviser's favourite answer. A prize for anyone who can comment on this article and tell me what that answer is.
Now don't get me wrong. We actually love speaking to students about their career paths and helping them work out which way is the best way for them. The skill of career path navigation is a tricky one to learn, and we love to teach it. It is so satisfying seeing students joining the dots.
If you'd like to learn how to navigate your way through your own careers landscape, then there are a couple of ways you could start.
Have a look at our pages on Choosing a career - full of information and suggested techniques. Read these, and use whichever one makes sense to you.
If you already know the career you want but are not sure of the way to get there, have a look at some job adverts, or register for the Bath Connection and talk to a couple of alumni experts. The 'what is the best way to get in?' question is a perfect starter-for-ten.
Or book one of our Quick Query appointments - sometimes just speaking your thoughts out loud will be enough to make one path stand out.