THE CAREERS ADVISER
Mix and match
I graduated two years ago with a 2:1 in geography, business and the environment. I'm 37, and it's difficult to find a job that uses my degree. I was a mechanical engineer before I went to university and that's what I'm doing now. Do you know of any employers who welcome mature students? Where should I look to use this rather expensive degree?
The degree you chose doesn't automatically qualify you for a particular career, but it might be useful in a number of areas, such as environmental work, the energy industry, central and local government, finance and management consultancy. So the first step would be to work out roughly what sector interests you.
Try articulating what it is you want to achieve and the sorts of activities you want to be part of your working day. If you have a clearer idea of the type of organisation you want to go into, you should be able to employ a more targeted job-hunting approach. Ask your department where former students have gone on to work. Your course might have majored on the growing demand for business to take account of environmental concerns, and you might be interested in policy-making. If so, explore what's available in regeneration and development agencies. Look up www.ends.co.uk, a new monthly report for managers shaping business strategy.
Don't forget regional as well as national agencies (www.englandsrdas.com). The journal Regeneration and Renewal has news about current trends and vacancies (www.isubscribe.co.uk) as does Sustainable Business (www.edie.net/magazines) and websites such as Regen (www.regen.net).
You might find that public-sector and larger corporations are more scrupulous about complying with age discrimination legislation than some smaller private-sector employers. The site for public- sector jobs is …