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What are your career plans, if any?

The university is trying to find out if you have chosen your course with a career in mind, as this has a bearing on whether you might drop out early.

They want to understand your motivation for going to university if you don’t have plans for the future, and the likelihood that you will be driven to continue and succeed with your course.

The ‘if any’ part of this question is key as they won’t be expecting everyone to have plans, but by being able to illustrate your thought process in choosing the university and the course, they will be reassured that your intentions are good.

‘Career plans’ don’t necessarily mean a detailed route to a specific job – think more in terms of a general area such as marketing, publishing or science. Quote a few roles that you think might interest you in the future, such as social media marketing or scientific research.

Model answer

If you have career plans

Explain your plans in the context of how university is the natural first step towards achieving your goals, and how the industry in general will value your degree.

Show the tutors your understanding of the industry by quoting a statistic about university entrants (as long as it is positive), and say how you are prepared to work your way up the career ladder once you gain your degree.

Asking a question about their links with industry will demonstrate your interest and desire to learn more, and is a good point of discussion.

No career plans

If you have no specific career plans, talk about your interests and how they relate to the course. Admissions tutors will need reassurance that you have researched the course, so talk about a specialism that might be of interest further down the line.

Show them you have a ‘university plan’ even if you don’t yet have a career plan.