Graduated, now what?
When you graduate, whether or not during the academic year, you can choose from several options. You can decide to start working immediately, as an employee or as a self-employed person, or you can choose to continue your studies (possibly abroad).
If you have not found a job immediately after finishing your studies, it is best to register as a jobseeker with VDAB (residence in Flanders) or Actiris (residence in Brussels) as soon as possible. Every school-leaver needs to complete a 12-month vocational integration period and receive 2 positive evaluations of the efforts made before being able to apply for inclusion benefits. During your integration period, you must be available for the labour market and effectively look for work.
If you are registered as a job-seeker but decide later to go back to study, you can deregister without any consequences.
Thinking about a second degree?
What are the options?
If you already have a graduate or a bachelor degree, you can obtain a second degree more quickly. With a graduate degree you can go on to a professional bachelor and with a professional bachelor you can go on to a master through a bridging or shortened program. You can also follow an Advanced Bachelor Programme or a postgraduate course. Or perhaps you would prefer a short extracurricular programme?
In the education menu at the top of the page you will find all the possible courses at Odisee. For each course, the possibilities for further study are listed.
Would you like to continue your studies abroad? Then find out in time about the rules for child benefit, health insurance and scholarships from the Flemish government. Information about scholarships to study abroad: https://www.studentsonthemove.be/en/.
Financial support from the Flemish government?
To be entitled to a scholarship from the Flemish government, you must meet a number of conditions. If you meet the nationality condition and the financial conditions, you can apply for a scholarship for obtaining 2 graduates, 2 bachelors, 1 master, 1 bridging programme, 1 preparation programme and 1 educational graduate, bachelor or master programme. If you have already obtained 3 graduates or 3 bachelors or 2 masters, you are no longer eligible for an educational graduate, bachelor or master programme respectively.
Attention! You cannot receive a tuition fee for an additional course (e.g. Advanced Bachelor Programme, postgraduate, etc.). You are also not entitled to reduced tuition fees.
If you continue your studies with an enrolment of at least 27 credits and do not work more than allowed to receive child benefit, you will still be entitled to child benefit until the month you turn 25. Check the website 'Centen voor Studenten' to find out whether or not you are still entitled to child benefit if you change your enrolment or stop studying. Regulations vary from region to region.
As soon as you are 25, you can no longer be registered with the health insurance fund as a dependent of your parent(s), but you have to join a health insurance fund of your choice yourself.
Looking for your first job?
Occupational switch-on time
Are you still not employed after finishing your studies? Then you need to register as soon as possible with VDAB (residence in Flanders) as a job-seeker or with Actiris (residence in Brussels). This is how your career transition period (12 months) starts, you retain certain rights and you build up new rights. When your professional integration period is over, you are younger than 25 and you do not have a job yet, you can apply for a benefit if you have two positive evaluations of the efforts made. You can already register with the VDAB as a jobseeker in January of the year in which you finish your studies. At Actiris this is possible from 1 May.
The vocational integration period only starts after the end of your studies and at the earliest as of 1 August. However, by registering earlier, your resume can already be sent to employers if you have entered it in the VDAB/Actiris database. You may work during the integration period because days worked count towards your entitlement to social integration benefit. Only if you work for more than 28 consecutive working days do you have to register again as a jobseeker. Otherwise, your inclusion period is stopped. If you start working full-time in July, the days you worked already count towards the professional conversion period. This is not the case if you work as a student in July. Under certain conditions, you are also entitled to child benefit.
Applying for a job is key
During the vocational integration period, you are expected to look for a suitable job and accept any job offers. If you want more information on how to write a resume or application letter, check out the following websites: www.vdab.be, www.actiris.be. Also on www.jobat.be you will find a lot of useful application tips.
Find the job of your life
Odisee supports students and alumni in finding a good job. The online job database contains all the vacancies that companies have submitted. Surf to jobservice.odisee.be to consult the available vacancies of Odisee.
When you work, your rights and obligations are laid down in an employment contract. This contract can take different forms and must be put in writing. Always read your contract carefully. Is the job not your thing? No worries! There are various possibilities for ending the employment contract.
Take a break
As a young starter, you normally have little vacation in the year following the year in which you started working. Apply for youth holidays so that you can take more vacation days.
Self-employed, anything for you?
You don't become self-employed overnight
It is important that you have a clear business plan. If you are ready to embark on your own adventure, be sure to visit the following sites for more information: www.economie.fgov.be, www.vlaio.be, www.socialsecurity.be, www.rsvz.be.
As a self-employed person, you are obliged to join a social insurance fund. You then pay social contributions yourself. In return, you are insured and entitled to benefits in the event of incapacity for work or invalidity, medical care, a pension, etc.
You can also apply for 'student self-employed person' status from your social insurance fund if you combine your studies with a self-employed activity and are between 18 and 25 years old. The advantage is that you can benefit from an advantageous contribution regulation and tax scheme.
If you work as a civil servant or employee, you can also exercise a self-employed professional activity. You are then regarded as a 'self-employed person in a secondary occupation'. Inform yourself well in advance about the steps you must take.
Contact an employee from the Social services department
If you have a more detailed question regarding your specific situation or would like more information in general, please contact the Social Services Department at your campus. They will be happy to help you on your way!