Most people think that having a qualification will guarantee them a job in their chosen occupation. But this is not the case.
Many graduates are shocked to realise that they are unable to get work in their chosen field of study. This is usually because:
- there are limited job opportunities in their chosen occupation
- they don't have any relevant work experience
- they got poor grades in their course and lack the necessary people and workplace skills and
- they just can't compete with other applicants for the jobs that are available.
How do you make sure you are competitive for jobs?
The best way to ensure you are competitive for jobs is by having a combination of:
- A relevant qualification. You need to be sure that any further education you do meets the needs of employers. Your course should give you the knowledge and skills you need to be able to do a particular job.
- To ensure your course meets employer needs, speak to employers about the skills and certification they require from workers. Ask them whether they have preferred course electives and education providers.
- Industry related work experience. This will help you build the workplace skills you need to do the job. There are a range of ways to gain this experience including:
- Working part-time work in this or a related job, even if it isn't in your industry of choice.
- Undertaking work experience as part of your course. You can organise this through your education provider. You will need to find an employer willing to take you on and provide a suitable learning experience.
- General employability skills. Employability skills are also called 'workplace' or 'communication' skills. These are the general personal qualities and values that help you quickly adjust to any workplace. They include skills like team work, communication skills, reliability, adaptability and following instructions.
- You can develop and demonstrate employability skills in paid or unpaid work or through activities such as volunteering or sports.