From education to employment

Less than two-thirds of graduates will find a job within 15 months – Here is how to better your chances

person sat behind pile of books

Less than two thirds (57%) of students will find employment within 15 months of graduating from University, according to research by the Office for Students.

With graduations currently in full swing, this will undoubtedly be an unnerving statistic for any graduate who has recently donned their cap or is preparing to in the coming months. 

And when it comes to finding a role, 96% of students admit that they face barriers when looking for jobs or apprenticeships including a lack of skills and work experience according to research from postgraduate careers service Prospects. 

This statistic only highlights the importance for anyone navigating the graduate job market to be as prepared as possible when applying for roles in order to help secure the start of their professional careers. 

To help, digital learning provider, Virtual College, has offered its expert advice about how graduates can prepare themselves for employment and give themselves the best chance at success in embarking on their professional journey.

  1. Develop Your Computer-Based Application Skills

Microsoft Office is nowadays required for most roles according to Indeed, being used for organising information, processing data and delivering presentations. 

And although most people are familiar with its programmes, Virtual College recommends that graduates learn how to use these core applications effectively in order to place themselves in a better position in the job market. 

Virtual College’s Microsoft Office 2016 – Library of 16 Interactive Courses gives graduates the opportunity to gain advanced and complete knowledge of Microsoft Office 2016 – the most up-to-date version of the software. 

The course gives 187 hours of online study for Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook and Access, with a certificate granted upon completion, this is ideal to attach to CVs to be seen by potential employers. 

Virtual College also provides courses for individual Microsoft applications if a comprehensive course is not necessary. 

For more information about the full range of Microsoft Office courses available, please visit >

  1. Work On Yourself And The Importance Of Self Awareness

Knowing where to begin when preparing yourself for employment is an overwhelming task but, through self-awareness and personal development, can be easily overcome.

Virtual College recommends graduates take its free online course in ‘Personal Development and Self-Awareness’ so that they can develop their skills and knowledge in this area.

The course addresses personal development, why it is necessary and how to best approach it, as well as offering tips for how to be more self-aware and to identify where one can – and should – develop personally. 

And with a certificate available upon completion, this would be yet another course to strengthen your professional profile and be looked upon positively by future employers.

For more information about the ‘Personal Development and Self-Awareness course’, please visit >

  1. Create And Manage Your Professional Digital Profile

Your reputation is of the utmost importance when applying for any professional role so ensuring that there is nothing on social media or online that would risk your chances of breaking into the job market is a necessary precaution to take.

Virtual College’s ‘Managing Your Professional Digital Profile’ helps graduates and students understand why you should and how to enhance your professional reputation through the use of a digital profile. 

The CPD accredited course explains what a ‘digital footprint’ is and demonstrates why it is important to establish boundaries between your professional and personal lives on social media.

Taking only one hour to complete, this course is an essential part of starting your journey into employment, with its own self-printed certificate upon completion to provide potential employers. 

For more information about the ‘Managing Your Professional Digital Profile’ course, please visit >

  1. Become More Digitally Literate

As technology continues to develop, roles and responsibilities are becoming more reliant on digital skills and knowledge, meaning that any graduates hoping to break into the job market should ensure that their skills are up to scratch. 

Virtual College advises that graduates or students take their Digital Literacy course. Taking only 20 minutes to complete, the course explores digital literacy in-depth to better understand what it is and why it is important in our current digital age. 

By the end of the course, you’ll have gained the knowledge of how to be more digitally literate, a skill that Virtual College believes is transferable to any role and strengthens one’s application. 

Endorsed by Virtual College themselves, a self-printed certificate will be received upon completion of the course, ideal to give to future employers for their reference. 

For more information about the ‘Digital Literacy’ course, please visit >

  1. Build Your Confidence

Finally, confidence is one of the most important factors when applying for a role, particularly during the interview process.

Research has even shown that self-confidence positively impacts performance during job interviews.

Virtual College’s ‘Confidence-Building Techniques’ course helps students and graduates adopt useful ways and utilise resources to develop their confidence to help them in their professional development.

The course spans 20 minutes of study time, and also provides useful tips and an action plan document so you can best put your plan to be more confident into practice. 

For more information about the ‘Confidence-Building Techniques’ course, please visit >

You can find out more about the Personal and Professional Development Training courses offered by Virtual College here >

Related Articles