Career options and opportunities

The Student Futures team at Edinburgh Napier University are here to support our graduates for up to two years after you finish your course. As a graduate, you have access to our online resources, our one-to-one careers appointments and all our careers events and workshops.

If you're looking for current opportunities, make sure to visit the jobs board on our myFuture for details on a range of roles, including new jobs, graduate schemes, summer work and volunteer opportunities.

Three students sitting around a table with textbooks open, talking to each other

Exploring your career options

There are many career options available to you. Whether you have a career in mind or are just starting to explore your options, your Student Futures team are here to support you. Spending time during your studies to research your options and test out ideas can help you to navigate your future career decisions.


How well do you know yourself?

Understanding yourself is an important part of career development and can be helpful when making career decisions or speaking to employers.

Skills and Strengths

Knowing your skills and strengths can help you to identify what you are good at and what you have to offer. These resources will help you start to identify your skills and strengths:


Reflecting on your personality can you help you when exploring all the opportunities available to you.

Values and Motivation

Knowing your values and motivation can help you understand what you want from life and work.

What can I do with my degree?

Many employers don't require a specific degree, but if you want to get ideas of where your degree could take you, the following resources may be a helpful starting point.

Researching roles, employers and sectors

Researching career options can help you generate new ideas and support your career planning and decision making. Many graduate careers do not require a specific degree subject, but some might require further study in the form of a master's degree, a professional qualification or training. Learning about sectors, roles and employers can help develop your career ideas.

Job sectors

You might be interested to learn more about the different sectors or already have one in mind that you would like to work within. It can be important to stay up to date with sector trends and changes and you can apply this knowledge to your career planning.

Job roles

Do you want to explore a role in more detail or are looking for inspiration? Prospects and Target Jobs provide individual role profiles with a breakdown of salary, responsibilities, key skills and qualifications and typical employers.

Attending career and employer events

Attending careers fairs, employer events and presentations can help with researching organisations and opportunities.

  • Find out more about career and employer pop-ups, presentations and events on myFuture.

Grow your network

Networking is an important skill to learn. Talking to professionals can help you to explore occupations and employment sectors.

Informational interviews

An informational interview is a conversation with a professional where you might speak with them about their job, organisation or career. They can be a valuable tool to help you get realistic, up-to-date information on a career, build your network and help you to make informed decisions.

Find out how you can make the most of an informational interview.


LinkedIn can be a tool to search for jobs and keep up to date with what's happening in industry. It can also be a source of potential contacts and works well as a research tool to help you identify and reach each out to alumni or other professionals working in areas of interest to you.

Student at home with magazine and laptop

Graduate opportunities

You'll have lots of different employment options available to you when you graduate, from graduate schemes, jobs and internships to working with SMEs, finding work outside the UK or even starting your own business!

As a graduate of Edinburgh Napier, you will have gained valuable skills, experience, knowledge and qualities that set you apart from the crowd. We can support you to identify your unique strengths and attributes so you will feel confident applying for graduate opportunities.

Our Graduate Recruitment Team organise events throughout the year including graduate job fairs, networking events and employer presentations. Visit MyFuture to view and book onto an event.


Graduate schemes

A graduate scheme is a structured program offered by many companies, typically larger corporations or organisations, designed specifically for recent graduates. These schemes provide graduates with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience, develop essential skills, and kickstart their careers in a supportive environment.

Usually lasting between one to three years, graduate schemes often rotate participants through different departments or roles within the company. This rotational aspect allows graduates to explore various areas of the business, gain exposure to different functions, and discover where their strengths and interests lie.

Recruitment for graduate schemes can be a lengthy process with several stages and usually takes place between September and December to start the following summer.

You can find information and graduate scheme opportunities at:

Graduate jobs

Graduate jobs offer recent graduates the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge and skills in a real-world professional setting. These positions can vary widely across industries and sectors, ranging from entry-level roles in finance, marketing, engineering, IT, healthcare, and many more.

Unlike graduate schemes, where participants may rotate through different departments, graduate jobs typically involve a more focused role within a specific team or department. This allows graduates to specialise and develop expertise in a particular area from the outset of their career.

Overall, graduate jobs provide a direct entry point into the workforce for recent university graduates, offering the chance to gain practical experience, build a professional network, and embark on a rewarding career path in their chosen field. Recruitment for these roles can take place at any time of year.

You can find graduate jobs advertised at:


Internships after graduation

A graduate internship is a temporary work placement offered by companies, organisations, or institutions to recent university graduates. Unlike graduate schemes or jobs, internships are typically shorter in duration, ranging from a few weeks to several months, and are designed to provide graduates with hands-on experience in a specific industry or role.

Graduate internships serve as a valuable stepping stone for graduates looking to gain practical skills, explore potential career paths, and enhance their resumes. These opportunities allow graduates to apply their academic knowledge in a real-world setting, gain insights into industry practices, and develop relevant professional skills.

One key aspect of graduate internships is the opportunity for graduates to network and make connections within their chosen industry. Interns often have the chance to work alongside experienced professionals, receive mentorship, and build relationships that may prove invaluable in their future careers.

You can find graduate internships advertised at:

Working for SMEs

Graduate schemes or roles within large corporations are not the only career possibility for graduates. Another option involves working for a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). SMEs are businesses with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of no more than £50 million. Across Scotland, SMEs thrive in various sectors, offering diverse opportunities for graduates.

Working in an SME can offer numerous benefits for graduates embarking on their professional journey. SMEs often provide a dynamic and close-knit working environment, offering graduates the opportunity to have a more significant impact and contribute meaningfully to the company's success.

In SMEs, there is typically greater visibility and recognition for individual contributions, allowing graduates to receive direct feedback and recognition for their achievements. This can be incredibly motivating and conducive to rapid skill development and career progression. Additionally, working in an SME can mean working closely with senior management and company leaders, providing valuable mentorship and learning opportunities that may be harder to come by in larger organisations.

SMEs tend to offer a more flexible and agile work environment, with the potential for greater autonomy and decision-making responsibilities. This can be particularly appealing for graduates who are eager to take on challenges, make an impact, and play a significant role in shaping the direction of the company.

Starting your own business

You may be considering self-employment and starting your own business after graduation. You may have a business start up idea, or have particular skills or interests that would lend themselves to self-employment such as sports coaching, fitness instruction, private tutoring, journalism, performing arts, creative industries, culinary ventures, web development and design.

If you are self-motivated, have good business awareness, the ability to market and promote what you do and network effectively then starting your own business could be a fantastic option to explore.

Visit the Prospects website to see if self-employment is right for you.

Edinburgh Napier University can offer business start up support through the Bright Red Triangle. They provide free lifelong enterprise support to a community of Edinburgh Napier University's students, staff and alumni to develop enterprise skills, increase entrepreneurial activity, and capture opportunities.


Applying for graduate roles

Creating a standout application when you apply for graduate roles is crucial. Visit our CVs, applications and interviews page for information and advice on writing a graduate CV and cover letter, completing online applications and what to expect from an assessment centre.


You already have a network – your friends, family, classmates and lecturers all form the network you have already developed. However, as you move into the professional world, networks and connections become an increasingly important way to develop your career.

What is professional networking?

Professional networking is connecting with people in roles or organisations that could support your career development in some way. Networking for graduates holds immense value, offering avenues for career advancement and personal growth. By connecting with professionals in their field, graduates gain insights, mentorship, and potential job opportunities. Building a diverse professional network enhances visibility and opens doors to collaborations and learning opportunities. Networking fosters confidence, communication skills, and industry knowledge, crucial for navigating the job market.

Online networking

Online networking can be one of the most useful and effective ways of connecting with others without time, geographical or logistical restrictions.

  • Personal brand – think about how you want others to see you and make sure your online presence reflects this. Do an ‘online audit’ to see what an employer would see if they searched for you online. Make sure your more personal social media accounts are private, and consider setting up professional accounts where you can share relevant industry content.
  • LinkedIn – with over 900 million users Worldwide, and an increasing number of organisations accessing the site, LinkedIn is a great place to start online networking. It is an excellent place to start when seeking new opportunities and enhancing your social presence.
  • Online events – join webinars, online conferences, professional discussion groups etc. to meet other professionals and demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for a particular sector.

Networking tips

  1. Be genuine and curious: approach networking with authenticity and a genuine interest in others. Ask meaningful questions, actively listen, and seek to understand their experiences and perspectives. Show curiosity about their work and industry, as people appreciate sincerity and engagement.
  2. Focus on building relationships: focus on fostering genuine connections rather than viewing networking solely as a means to an end. Invest time in nurturing relationships by following up after meetings, offering assistance or insights where possible, and staying in touch regularly. Building trust and rapport is key to long-term networking success.
  3. Diversify your network: connect with professionals from various backgrounds, industries, and career levels. Diversity in your network provides access to diverse opportunities, perspectives, and resources. Attend events, join professional groups, and leverage online platforms to expand your network beyond your immediate circles.
Student sitting at a window with a laptop

Graduate Outcomes Survey

Anyone graduating from a UK Higher Education Institution will be invited to take part in the Graduate Outcomes survey around 15 months after completing their course. The survey aims to help current and future students gain an insight into career destinations and development.

Find out more about the Graduate Outcomes Survey