The KIS information for each provider includes employment statistics for recent graduates. This should not be relied on because it cannot guarantee that future graduates will get well-paid jobs soon after graduating.
Careers services can help students find out what possible careers involve and expand their understanding of the possibilities. It is worth exploring options early in the course. Do some research on career paths which interest you. Take stock of yourself, your talents, your achievements and your interests.
You need to
- Know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses
- Decide what you are interested in
- Determine what skills/experience you need for possible careers
- Take action: begin making applications; get relevant work-experience
Are there lessons to be learned by the provider?
- Careers advice is becoming an increasingly important activity for institutions as Government seeks to reward them for high rates of graduate employment. Students, and their parents, are increasingly asking about the ‘outcome’ from a degree specifically in terms of the job they will get as they are concerned about the £20K+ debt they will generate and how to pay it off.
- If student feedback suggests that advice sessions are not meeting expectations, it may be useful to list respects in which this could be improved by changing the content of the sessions and respects in which the expectations of students need to be addressed. There is evidence that group sessions are more successful, and of course will be more cost-effective as Careers Service budgets are squeezed.
- Can you train helpers to deal with particular needs? Many students like the ‘crutch’ of a CV review, but you may not want to involve high cost Careers Advisers to provide this service. Consider using a 5 minute CV check – perhaps staffed by an Information Resource officer or trained post-graduate student.
- The economic climate can encourage students to fire off dozens of poorly prepared applications. Can you help students learn to avoid making mistakes which will diminish their chances of success, such as making applications at the last minute without researching the employer’s needs or the duties of the post
Other things you may find useful
Institutions will be familiar with the Quality Assurance Agency’s Code of Practice but students and academics may find it helpful to read through the relevant parts: Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education