Alternatives to joining the workforce post-graduation

By Jaini Shah

Most college students usually join the workforce after graduation.

However, there are plenty of other routes students can take that do not necessarily involve working right away. Some employers are flexible and even offer later start dates to their employees.

Whether it involves traveling, teaching or volunteering, there are many programs available to students that simply require research and interest to find.

A few programs that are popular among people who choose an alternate route include the Peace Corps, Teach for America and traveling options.

The Peace Corps is essentially a volunteer program that is offered by the U.S. government. Its mission is to provide assistance to people outside of the U.S., and the work typically consists of social and economic development.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

The Peace Corps offers placement in over 65 countries, and the program typically lasts for 27 months, according to their website. This opportunity suits people who are very passionate about volunteering and who would not mind putting their life on hold to participate.

Joining the Peace Corps requires an incredible amount of dedication and hard work.

For those who have a passion for volunteering but are not willing to commit to two years in a foreign country, there are other scholarships and programs available that provide similar experiences, but within the U.S.

For anyone interested in teaching and volunteering, Teach for America is a nonprofit organization with a mission to assist students in low-income communities achieve a proper education.

Through this organization, recent college graduates are given the opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of young students.

Mandy Pan, junior in Business, interned with Teach for America last summer.

“Teach for America provides a great opportunity to find yourself while giving back to the community and gaining valuable experience,” Pan said over email. “I was able to work with such a diverse group of accomplished and driven individuals brought together by a common goal of ending educational inequity. …After I got a taste of the fulfillment I felt in that position, I don’t think I could ever go back to a normal job.”

Some college graduates simply want to take a few months off and travel within the country or abroad.

The most popular places for students to visit include central Europe, Southeast Asia and South America.

Some people choose to go backpacking and stay in hostels, while others prefer pre-planned stays at luxurious resorts.

Joining the workforce is not the only option available post-graduation. Whether it is joining The Peace Corps, Teach for America, traveling or any other programs, graduates are bound to find something of interest to them.

Jaini is a sophomore in Business. [email protected]