Are you graduating this summer? Are you clueless as to what you want to do after graduation? Are you confused about your career path? Join the club – you are not the only one!

Jobs, money, getting settled, further studies – these are the words constantly running in the mind of a student about to graduate.

What’s next is the million-dollar question all of us face. Sometimes we feel that pursuing a master’s degree would be a great idea considering the current economic situation. But is it really worth the time and money if we are not certain about our interests? Study would mean acquiring additional skills and extending the comfortable and somewhat carefree student life. Securing a job sounds better, since it means no more studies, money in the pocket and more fun. The pros and cons analysis of further studies vs. getting a job would best be done after taking into consideration the views of parents, friends, professors and, of course, the current economic situation than by going on hunches alone. This would offer a broader perspective on things and would help in making the right decision.

Not all of us know what we want to do with our lives and which steps to take next. Not knowing what to do can be good because it gives an opportunity to experiment and try new things in life before figuring out the right path. Learning new things, making new mistakes and rising up after every mistake will only help us become an improved person each time. To make the right decision, we must become familiar with our interests so that we can pursue a degree or work accordingly.

To make the process of arriving at the right decision easier, studying in reputed universities definitely makes a big difference. The opportunities are plenty and resources unlimited. The career center, career fairs, internship opportunities, supportive professors and a wide array of courses to choose from certainly help in getting to where we want to be.

However, to get to that place where we can use these resources, first we need to know the right career path. It may take a while to get to that point. Jennifer Smith, a senior studying at USC says, “I was confused about what I would do after I graduate. But internships helped me figure out my interests. Now that I know what I love, I plan to continue working in the same place even after I graduate.”

Internships can be a great instrument to help us discover our interests and strengths and even secure a full-time job. Instead of pursuing another degree, it is always helpful to get some hands-on experience first.

In his 2005 Stanford Commencement speech, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, advised the graduates to do what they love.

“Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.”

Yes, we need to do what we love, but we may not always get to do what we love. Being able to see the greener side of everything can help us to be successful. There will be some point in our lives when we have to do something that we don’t like. If we can see the positive aspect of it, we can accomplish just about anything.

In this current economic scenario, where soon-to-be graduates are pitted against laid-off workers and recent graduates, the competition is certainly strong. USA Today found that there are more than five job seekers for every opening. So to beat the competitors, experience and passion is extremely important. If we know our interests and are passionate about them, companies will be more than happy to take us on board. Self-confidence, positive attitude, industriousness, hope, earnestness and enthusiasm are the mental qualities that we need at this point to push us along our path in life.