I'm a Master's student in Computer Science, hopefully graduating in October (3 months from now). I'm currently living in Ireland, and I'd like to take advantage of this opportunity to start looking for a job over here or at least have a good idea about the offers over here.

I don't know if it's right to actively apply for a job position, since most of them are for immediate availability. On the other side, if I don't apply, I feel like I'm missing a good opportunity to get in touch in person with the companies over here and I will never know if it's really worth it moving abroad.

As a student about to graduate, should I apply for jobs now or wait until I graduate?


5 Answers 5


Yes, you should apply for a job right away.

It's not unusual to take a few months to find a job that suits you, take advantage of this time period.

Applying just before you graduate or right after graduation is too late, it will most likely result in a few months with no paychecks or you'll settle for a less-interesting job just because you really need it.

There's nothing wrong with applying for jobs while not being available, just make sure to bring it up in every interview that you're not free until you've graduated in X months, companies will not look down on you for wasting their time, it's not a waste at all to get to know you too early when it could have been too late.

I graduated in June last year but I started applying in January, the time period gave me 3 job offers and roughly 4 times as many interviews, one of which I accepted roughly a month and a half before I graduated. I took one week off after the graduation and then started working for the company.

Some students waited with the applying part until a month before graduation, in many cases it lead to stress, unemployment for a while after graduation and so on.

Worst case scenario: The company needs someone right away (so you wouldn't have missed anything by waiting anyway, no harm!) and you get experience from the interview. They might even keep your resume for future job openings.

Best case scenario: You get a job offer you like within a decent time period, giving you time to focus on your graduation.

Good luck.

  • 1
    I cannot support enough the "training" part. Passing interviews is a skill in itself, and the more you pass, the better you are.
    – gazzz0x2z
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 11:23

Most universities have career fairs where company recruiters come to interview students that are about to graduate. Since the companies that attend these events know that they're recruiting people that will start in a few months once they graduate, that obviously simplifies the availability discussion. Your university's career office or the computer science department's office should have information about upcoming career fairs and/or recruiter visits.

If for some reason your university doesn't have recruiters come on campus to talk with graduating students, you can still apply for other positions, you'll just want to indicate that you aren't available until after you graduate. Most companies prefer people that can start immediately but that doesn't mean that they aren't interested in people that have other obligations. Most employed people, for example, will need to give a few weeks of notice to their current employer or will need to finish their current contract before joining a new company. Since it often takes months for a company to find the right candidate, companies may be quite willing to make you an offer to start in a few months.


Talk to the university office that helps students find jobs. For undergraduates and grad students they help find internships. For students approaching graduation they help them find jobs. Some universities even allow recent graduates to use their services for 6 months or a year after graduation.

They can help with resumes, arranging interviews either on campus or at company locations, they might even coordinate job airs. They can even arrange for practice interviews.


You should always apply for jobs in IT before you graduate. Many employers recruit graduates specifically and therefore will be accommodating to your graduation process and in general with larger employers, take a long time to complete the hiring process relative to SMEs.

Intake for graduate schemes within large companies usually occurs in August-September to get all the graduates at once and accommodate the various graduation ceremonies as they are all on different days and months.

Even without this, you will likely receive many phone calls from recruiters with job timelines that do not suit you. I certainly did when I first graduated and in my experience, the start date can be negotiable.


The large, established companies expect your availability to be immediate once they extend the offer with one caveat: if they recruit on campus, you'll get an offer but they'll accommodate your graduation schedule, because it's probably more convenient to train you and the new graduates in batches rather than in driblets throughout the year. Between the time that you interview (one to several times) with them, a lot of water may have flowed past that bridge.

I suggest that you seek interviews ASAP and not wait until you graduate. If they think that you are being too early, they'll probably tell you point-blank that the position is not open yet.

Large companies have a formal hiring procedure. On the other hand, small companies and startups may be much quicker in extending you an offer.

  • 2
    The large, established companies expect your availability to be immediate once they extend the offer This is backwards. Larger companies are more likely to have options for specific timelines, based on college recruiting schedules (especially for entry-level types of jobs). This will not be all positions but definitely more than smaller companies.
    – enderland
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 13:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .