Once you have made the decision to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy, and completed your first course or degree, you may wonder what options are then available to you. This could involve getting straight into the thick of working in the sector, but might also involve you considering what you want to do next, including furthering your education or working elsewhere. By considering your options thoroughly prior to making a decision, you can allow yourself the opportunity to really make the most of your career path, in a way that is tailored to your personal interests and career development goals.
Even though you could potentially begin your career by this point, you may want to consider undertaking more learning and gaining extra qualifications. Looking into a graduate occupational therapy program can help you to gain new skills, either in a classroom-based environment or through workplace training. The more qualifications that you hold, alongside the experience that you will undoubtedly garner while working, the more likely it is that you will be considered for higher positions, or able to successfully apply for jobs higher up the chain in the future. In addition to this, an increase in skills through a study/intern abroad experience can help with your performance in the role, allowing you to successfully try other methods, and work with a wider array of people, than the initial qualification may be able to afford you.
Moving into Work
While furthering your education can be something worth considering, it may not be something that you want to do right away. Instead, you might opt to build your resumé and start applying for roles immediately. This can allow you to gain valuable experience within the field, while the possibility of additional training can always be revisited later. You may also be in a position where earning money is crucial, such as for providing for a young family, and it may not necessarily be the right time to seek further training. In some cases, you might be able to advance your career based upon your interactions within the workplace, so moving into work straight away can sometimes be more beneficial.
Although there may be career options available to you within the United States, this may not be something that appeals to you. Having a qualification can help to open doors for working abroad, especially if the country you want to travel to is requesting extra personnel within your field. To work abroad, you might need to apply for a specific type of visa that allows you to live and work in a foreign country, so it is always best to research the criteria prior to beginning to apply for roles.
It is always a good feeling to know you have achieved the first step towards your career goals, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop there. By considering where you would like to be in both the near future, as well as in 10 years’ time, you can come up with a career plan that works for you.