Plans after University - What are yours?

Graduating from university is the culmination of your hard work and the next step is Foundation Year One (FY1) training. It can be difficult deciding what to do after university and in your future career, so we’ve outlined some key considerations for post-university plans.

Catch the travel bug…

You’ll have a couple of weeks between graduation and beginning foundation training to go on holiday and relax but not enough time to go travelling for an extended period.

If you would like to go travelling, it’s advisable to wait until after foundation training. Doctors have full registration with the GMC at the end of FY2 and this is the natural time to take a career break before entering into specialty training, as research shows only 37.7% of FY2s went straight into specialty training in 2018 (BMJ).

Take it abroad…

Most foundation schools won’t give permission for FY1 to be completed overseas. In some cases, if you’re a non-UK or non-EEA citizen, a foundation school may allow you to apply for a programme in your home country. This needs to be planned eight months prior to training and you should bear in mind that if you decide to return to the UK for FY2, you may need to apply in open competition for vacant FY2 posts (Health Careers NHS).

If you’re interested in moving abroad, it’s again advisable to wait until completion of foundation training.

For more information about travelling during the pandemic, click here.

Choose NHS or go private…

There are pros and cons to working in the NHS, including the employee benefits packages which includes your pension schemes, pay and annual leave entitlement, which is seen as favourable in comparison to that of other professions. However, there are also pros and cons to going it alone and working privately. We’ve created a useful blog on what you can expect in the different sectors that you can read by clicking here.

Consider your living arrangements…

Think about location when buying or renting a property, as it’ll need to be a suitable distance from your placements and it’s likely you will settle in an area depending on the hospital or practice you work at.

In terms of mortgages, doctors and dentists have access to specialist lenders who’s lending criteria is a little more relaxed. This is because when you enter the NHS, you’ll have guaranteed salary progression, so lenders can use projection. Taking out a professional mortgage can be beneficial in the form of preferential rates and higher loan to deposit ratio.

We’ve shared more advice on living arrangements in our blog here 

But, don’t I need a credit rating for property?

It’s a good idea to begin building a good credit history as this will help you when you apply for things such as a mortgage or finance for a car. This is because lenders use your credit rating to determine the level of risk in lending to you.

To build a good credit rating you should:

  • Make all of your payments on time, not only with credit accounts but with other accounts such as utility bills
  • Sign up to a credit scoring platform e.g. Clear Score
  • Use credit cards wisely
  • Pay off debts with higher interest first

Pension considerations

Thinking about pensions and enrolment into schemes early on is essential to secure a comfortable future. Consider your enrolment into the NHS pension scheme, state pension payments and the benefits of setting up a private pension. For more pension advice, read our blog on dealing with your finances here.

We’re sharing a series of vlogs from students that discuss final year preparation and transitioning to foundation year. You can view them on Instagram and Facebook. We’re sharing more tips and advice on life after university in our latest articles.

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