Graduation

With a less than thrilling job market to look forward to, many students are taking stock of the alternatives to finding a job right after college. Below are some options for those seeking answers about what their plans after graduation.

Often, schools in foreign countries look for native English speakers to teach English classes either as night classes for adults or classes for young children. While requirements from country to country vary, foreign language skills aren’t always a necessity. The programs that hire for these positions often pay airfare to and from the host country, housing and a stipend, as well as subsidizing things like insurance. While not a great deal for long term employment, it’s a great way to spend that year or two of “finding yourself” time after college.

Once you get a solid job, it’ll be decades before you get the chance to take a six month tour across Europe. Unless you have a hefty nest egg squirreled away somewhere, you obviously won’t be staying in five-start accommodations, but hostels, cheap local eateries and a Eurail pass combined with courageous standards make it possible to spend at least several weeks abroad without completely bankrupting yourself.

The options here are almost limitless. Do you want to spend a month backpacking across Europe? A summer hopping around east Asia? Or even just a few weeks road-tripping around the states? Any of these will give you a chance to see the world you’re not likely to have again for a long time.

Teach for America is an organization that, with the help of recent college grads, attempts to correct education discrepancies by sending teachers to educationally underprivileged areas. After an intense few weeks of training, participants head out for two years to teach at schools in historically underprivileged areas—particularly inner-city and rural schools. If you have any leanings toward education, this would be a great opportunity to get hands-on experience, and, even if you’re not, it’s still a good way of giving back. The program however, is very competitive, and applicants can apply for the 2011 program, at .

If you want to make a difference in the world while seeing more of it at the same time, the Peace Corps might be worth looking into. Volunteers sign up for a term of service just over 2.5 years to help with development efforts around the globe. Volunteers contribute in a number of ways, ranging from improving education, providing health services, fighting aids and stabilizing and improving food production.

Perhaps more relevant to Tech students is the Information and Communications Technology branch, is devoted to spreading technologies to the developing world and educating people about their uses.

If you have any desire to own your own business, right out of college is the time to give it a try. Without bills hanging overhead, a family to support or a boss to ask for time off, you have less to risk by giving it a shot. Financing opportunities for socially or environmentally sustainable projects, as well as ideas for general start-ups can be found at the .