Leaving College? What is Your Best Career Style in 2022?

For many, college years truly are the best of their lives. It is a time for growing into full adulthood, making friendships that often last for life, and heading into the world to make an impact.

About 4 million college students were expected to graduate during the 2020/21 college year according to Think Impact. Although many of those graduates would have known exactly where they were headed, many others wouldn’t have.

You go to college, study your chosen subjects, gain knowledge that is useful in the real world, then you graduate. Then what?

Do you choose to dedicate yourself to a high-powered career, or do you see yourself becoming a freelancer? Maybe you already have a start-up bubbling away.

How should you look to progress with your post-college career?

The way in which people are employed today is simply nothing like previous generations experienced.

There are now zero-hour contracts and of course the so-called gig economy. People advertise their talents on websites such as Fiverr, and designers produce speculative unpaid work on DesignCrowd.

In the past, college graduation could be seen as a guaranteed way to a successful career, but not today. According to Statista, there were nearly 5% of recent graduates without employment in December 2021. During the pandemic, that figure was higher than 13%.

Working options now are more varied than ever before. Working from home is far more viable than it ever has been, and freelancing can be a respected option.

How do you work out the best financial option for yourself?

Below here you can see a varied list of employment options. Not careers, but different styles of being employed.

One consideration among all of those options though, is how you will be reimbursed. After all, not too many people work solely for the love of it. Bills need to be settled, including student loans.

When deciding what work style will suit you, you will need to work out how much you will be able to make. For instance, do you have a yearly salary figure in mind already? If so, how does that convert to an hourly rate if you decide to go freelance?

When you need to see if your freelance options can create a career then you can use a salary to hourly converter to see if you can match your financial needs.

What are the options for post-college employment?

No doubt you will have spent considerable time during your life considering career options. Your studies will very likely have been chosen based on these very thoughts.

Many students though do decide to change direction later on, and it pays to understand what career options there are.

You can see here how to become a professional and what wages you will receive in a variety of roles too.

But the point of this article was more to look at how you could be employed, not in which particular position. Here are some realistic options today.

Remote workers

In the past, remote working was something that many aspired to but was unable to due to their employers.

Now though, there are around 4.7 million remote workers in the US. These people can work in a wide variety of roles and work at least partially from home. The rise in remote working came largely through necessity when the pandemic hit.

Yet, 44% of American businesses still do not allow any remote working at all. If this is something you are keen on, then you would need to either consider freelancing, setting up your own business, or finding a suitable employer.

Digital nomads

The popularity of becoming a digital nomad has risen even faster than that of remote working. Although there are many similarities between the two work options, digital nomads are unlikely to be found at home quite so often.

This is a role that needs consideration when comparing the salary to an hourly rate. However, many countries are less expensive to live in than the states, and your college skills could be utilized in this way.

There are many benefits to online tutoring for teaching advanced English. And being able to travel while teaching online could suit you.

Right now there are believed to be around 35 million digital nomads, although Covid may have affected that figure. This is a huge jump from 2018 when there were just 4.8 million.

Many young graduates consider a year overseas before settling into a career, and being a digital nomad embraces work experience with travel.


Depending on what your skills and talents are, becoming freelance is a realistic option. In a cramped job market, going freelance is often a way to get involved with businesses that you would previously be unable to work with.

Options for this style of working could range from journalism, photography, design, or social media management. However, careful consideration of your financial remuneration would need to be made.

Would your income break down hourly into the same or more as you could receive in full-time work?

Full-time employment

The most traditional option for any graduate, and indeed, most other workers.

Full-time employment comes with a large range of benefits usually including a salary, holiday pay, sickness pay, health insurance, and pension schemes.

There can be clear progression in a career for someone who joins a business full-time. Indeed, many students will be head-hunted for roles before they have even graduated from college.

One drawback for a graduate though is that their salary may not meet their expectations. For new employees, a yearly salary may not even match that of someone freelancing.

Part-time employment

This is also a perfectly viable option, and it could be used for a student who wishes to continue progressing with education.

Working part-time allows for further education while still gaining some of the benefits of being employed. You will gain work experience in the real world, an income, and still be able to study.

It could also be an option for someone who dropped out early. According to Admissionsly, 33% of students dropout of college every year. It doesn’t need to be the end of their education though, and part-time studies could be a way back in.

Gig economy style work

It could be said that there is little to recommend this style of working, and it benefits the employer more than the employee.

However, if you had a particular set of circumstances that required your work to be extremely temporary, and flexible, then working gigs may suit you.

This area of employment can crossover into freelance, remote working, and digital nomad styles of work. It would also need to be considered very carefully on how much you could make per hour, and if it was a feasible way of making a living.


Perhaps graduates have never had so much freedom when choosing in which way they would like to be employed. Many graduates simply go on to start their own businesses these days.

It isn’t unknown for students to become day traders, create niche positions for themselves and work remotely, or head into a serious career in law or finance.

When it comes to salaries and hourly rates though, it can be easy to misunderstand which types of work are more rewarding. That comfortable full-time role may make you less money than your fellow graduate who is now enjoying life as a digital nomad.