Thinking about life after university can be daunting. Many students worry about making themselves employable during and immediately after their courses, but a lot don’t know what they need to consider and how to use their time effectively.
Need advice on boosting your employability rating after you finish your studies? Increase your chances of full-time employment with our guide to everything from sandwich degrees and study abroad programmes, to taking Google assessments and combining studies with freelance work.
Higher education in the UK
According to HESA, students achieved 757,300 qualifications in the 2016/17 academic period — an increase of 2% on the previous year. Evidently, attaining higher education qualifications is growing in importance. In fact, the latest Labour Force Survey, published in November 2017, discovered that between July and September of that year, 42% of 21-64-years-olds in the UK had gained a higher education qualification.
Considering that there are approximately 2.32 million students attending higher education establishments in the UK, it’s clear that standing out from your peers is becoming essential if you want to bag the best job. But, what is your best course of action when it comes to making yourself as attractive as possible to an employer looking for a driven, hard-working and valuable worker?
This type of course is worth considering if you’re heading to university or are considering a change in courses. Sandwich degrees feature a placement year at a company ‘sandwiched’ in the middle of the course (often between year two and three), giving you the chance to work in the industry your degree is associated with and experience how it operates first-hand. Available in a range of disciplines from mathematics to business, sandwich courses offer students a range of employability-enhancing benefits.
With these degrees, you learn both academically and practically, gaining priceless work experience and making contacts that can help you get your foot in the door after university. Research conducted by ASET found that students on sandwich courses showed a greater academic performance in their final year, with some employers actively looking for new workers who can show professional experience. This suggests that taking time out to put the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired over the first part of your academic studies may benefit you in the long run.
Many students find it tough to adapt to working life following a three or four-year stint at university, which is why some employers prefer to take on new graduates who can show at least some experience of working a professional environment. What’s more, you often receive a tuition fee waiver or reduction during your placement year, and there’s even a chance that your placement employer will pay you for your work (although, this isn’t mandatory).
Study abroad programmes
If a sandwich course isn’t available in the discipline you want to study, or your university doesn’t offer it, then consider a study abroad programme instead. According to UCAS, around 24,000 students have spent part of their university life studying abroad, with the top five destinations for international studies being: France, the United States, Spain, Germany, and Australia.
If you opt to study abroad for a portion of your course, you could gain invaluable language skills, enhance your cultural awareness, increase your level of independence, and learn how to adapt quickly to new environments and people — essential in work life! What’s more, studying abroad shows a potential employer that you have the determination and drive to up sticks, move from friends and family, and try your hand at life far from the comforts of home. This level of confidence, proactivity and ambition is just what employers are looking for in an employee.
Google online courses
Getting a certificate from Google is a great way to show off your digital savviness to an employer and make your CV stand out against the others. For example, the Google Analytics Academy gives you the opportunity to learn about intelligent data collection and analysis that will help a company website grow. Established companies may be searching for fresh, young talent to help it with the emerging, digital side of their business, so gaining some tech-based skills in your spare time will help you look eager and boost your employability chances.
Regardless of your discipline, the online world and digital platforms are almost certainly going to play a part of your working life, which makes enhancing your transformational leadership essential. So, be proactive and take a free online course certified by Google to improve your digital skills.
Your LinkedIn profile
There are almost 550 million professionals and around 11 million active job listings on LinkedIn, according to Business Insider UK. So, it’s essential that your profile stands out in a good way. Continue reading here…