How many years after uni would you keep applying to grad schemes?



I graduated in 2011 and immediately got a job doing all-round admin type stuff at a little tech company. My work there has helped me focus on what I actually want to do (accounting/audit) and it seems like graduate schemes are really the best way to get a jump start in the field. I really want to make this happen. Had my telephone interview with KPMG this morning, wheeee!

But I’m concerned that if I don’t get onto a graduate scheme this year (and I’m already late to the party for applications this year) I’ll have effectively aged out. Sure, all of the company websites say they’re fine with people like me applying a few years after uni, but at what point does it just become silly? Four years after uni? Five? Is it already kind of weird now, three years after? (Geez, I can’t believe I’ve been out of uni three years already.)

Any thoughts appreciated?


I graduated in 2008, and applied for 2014, so 6 years after graduation! Basically I wanted a career change and didn’t have the right experience or qualifications for an ‘experienced hire’ role, so I’m going in at the ground level. I’ve been offered a position so it obviously isn’t a problem for them, they basically said to me that with my experience their expectations will be much higher, and suggested (without promising anything) that as long as I meet these expectations I should be able to progress out of the graduate scheme quicker than the standard 3 years and into a proper role.

It was a bit of a tough choice to make (I’ll be 30 next year!) but I felt that in the long term this is the best thing to do for my career, rather than being stuck in a dead end job where I just wasn’t progressing. KPMG pays their graduates fairly well, so I’m only taking a small salary hit, but I expect to make that up and more within a few years.