There was once a time where going off to university and getting qualified meant you were pretty much guaranteed a good job by the end of it. Unfortunately, that’s not the case these days and in most cases, a degree will be the absolute minimum you need to be able to apply for positions.
Of course, it’s still worth going to university- without a degree, you’ll find that the door to well-paid roles is closed completely. But it does mean there’s more you should be doing to improve your chances of employment once you graduate, as a degree probably won’t be enough to stand out. Here are some ideas.
Do well in your course
Doing well in your university course will help to set you apart from the rest. A 2.1, or even a first will instantly make you more employable than those achieving 2.2’s and third class degrees. Work hard, give yourself plenty of time to revise and get coursework done. Seek help with anything you’re not sure about, and generally make your work a priority.
It can be difficult juggling university, paid part-time work, social life and other things when you’re a student. But remind yourself of why you came to university. The point was to get a good degree, so make that your number one priority.
Finding paid employment once you graduate can be catch 22. You need the experience to be considered for roles, but you can’t gain experience without getting a job. Thankfully there are ways around this, one of them is doing voluntary work. Even a couple of hours a week looks good on your CV and could be enough for an employer to take a chance on you.
If for example, you’re doing a course relating to health, you could volunteer in a hospital. If it’s to do with crime, you could volunteer with the police or courts for example. Mental health nurses or psychology students could volunteer with mental health charities. Have a think about what would be useful to you when it comes to applying for positions later on.
Get additional qualifications
Alongside studying for your main degree, you could also do some part-time study for other courses too. Things Microsoft Visio training classes and Office 360, for example, will be appreciated by a lot of employers. You could do a shorter, part-time online course that would complement your degree, for example if you’re studying nursing at university then you could study a nutrition course online.
Just make sure you have enough time to get everything done. If you are able to juggle it, these additional qualifications will certainly help you to stand out when it comes to applying for jobs.
Take some training
There are lots of courses you can go on which last a day or a few days or can be done part-time. These could be anything from business networking to health and safety courses, or things specifically to do with the career you want. Again, it’s another thing that shows you’re serious about getting the career you want and helps you to stand out.