One of the first things you learn about the job market after graduating is that it’s much broader than you’d been expecting.
It can be easy to leave university with the idea that it’s grad scheme or bust – that unless you grab a spot on a training programme in a recognisable industry as soon as possible, you’re just going to spend your time waiting for the next year’s round of applications to open.
But that’s not the case. There’s an endless number of roles out there that you probably didn’t know existed, in industries you may never have heard of. And the best part? They’re hiring.
The world of work is changing quickly, with the rise of new technologies, methods of communication, working practices and business models. Each innovation and change brings with it new positions that are waiting to be filled, one of which might be exactly the thing you didn’t know you were looking for.
Here are 5 roles and industries that you probably didn’t know existed, but should definitely consider in your job hunt.
1. Search Engine Optimisation
Commonly abbreviated to SEO, search engine optimisation is all about improving a site’s rankings in search engine query results. The role can take a variety of forms, from specialising in the backend coding necessary to make a site search engine-friendly, to front-end content creation and outreach. As such, SEO can be a great fit for graduates and trainees from a variety of disciplines, from computing to English literature.
The two main routes into the industry, much like in traditional Marketing, are agency or in-house. Digital marketing and SEO agencies are generally able to provide more comprehensive training and a more team-based working environment, while managing SEO in-house for a single company gives you the chance to create your own strategy and take real ownership of your work. It’s also a role well-suited to remote working.
2. Social Media Manager
Already run a popular Facebook group focusing on pictures of good doggos? Spend your evenings live tweeting Love Island? Social media management may be for you.
The role combines a variety of skills, including content creation, graphic design, and customer research, and is based on helping businesses nurture and grow their online communities. Fifteen years ago nobody had a Social Media Manager, and now almost all large blue-chip companies have entire teams dedicated to curating their digital presence.
Similar to SEO, the role’s youth and its variety means that employers take graduates from a host of different disciplines. It also helps to have a well-kept social media presence yourself, and having a significant number of followers proves you already have the skills the role requires.
3. Coworking Community Manager
Coworking is, as its name suggests, all about community. Coworking spaces are offices that lease out shared spaces to different companies who all use the same facilities and desks, with the aim to promote an exchange of ideas, talent and knowledge. Community managers are there to facilitate this process.
Depending on the company, this position can have a variety of responsibilities and functions. The role will generally require a confident communicator who’s organised and creative. No two days will be the same and, though you’ll have fixed responsibilities, it will ultimately be up to you and your team to create that sense of community.
Again, employers tend to draw from a range of different degree disciplines, but previous Sales or Communications experience will definitely work in your favour.
4. Executive Search
Also called Headhunting, Executive Search is a specialised Recruitment service focusing on company executive and board level roles such as CEO or CFO. The role requires a confident communicator who’s able to quickly understand the industry they’re searching in and the complexities of the positions they’re looking to fill.
There are two main paths that most graduates take, either working for one of the larger multinational executive search firms or going into a boutique consultancy, which tend to specialise in an industry or collection of industries.
The breadth of industries and positions worked across means that executive search roles are open to graduates from many different degrees, although there is an emphasis on strong research skills, communication and the ability to absorb information quickly.
5. Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts primarily collect, collate and analyse data that informs company decisions. The role exists in almost all industries, and the particular qualification priorities will differ according to business type.
The statistical nature of the position does mean that Maths, Economics and Statistics graduates are favoured, although employers often hire from social science subjects that place a premium on research, including Sociology, Psychology and Anthropology particularly for qualitative rather than quantitative research roles.
Henry is Head of Public Relations & Communications at Free Office Finder. He writes about office space, coworking and the changing nature of working life.