FE Voices

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

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?  

Take advantage of campus career facilities  

You’ve paid for your studies at university, so don’t leave without getting your money’s worth. Most universities have excellent resources when it comes to helping students find a job following graduation.  

According to Tom Staunton, lecturer in career development at the University of Derby: “A careers adviser can help you think through the different advice you have been given, work out what it means for you and what you could do about it.”  

Head to your university’s career advice department and ask for a one-on-one meeting with an advisor. They should be able to give you up-to-date contacts, tips and guidance on how to get your foot in the door of your chosen industry, how to perfect your CV and how to conduct yourself in interviews to truly sell your strengths.  

In fact, some universities are innovating fresh ways to help soon-to-be graduates secure a job. For example, the University of Kent offers an online service to match career skills with potential careers, while Norwich University has created a card game that helps students link skills with professional situations to help students consider and learn the best approaches to real-life work scenarios. 

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. 

Sandwich degrees 

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). 

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 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.  

LinkedIn’s career expert, Blair Decembrele, claims that having a professional-looking profile picture is critical — did you know that people with a photo on their account get around 21 more views that those who don’t? Similarly, your summary should be crafted to highlight your strengths, passions and career aims, while it’s also important to include extra-curricular activities to show your personality and make your profile more relatable and memorable — such as volunteer work and hobbies.  

According to ACCA — the worldwide body for professional accountants — the top skills to improve employability are:  

  1. Business acumen
  2. Initiative
  3. Management
  4. Professionalism
  5. Innovation
  6. Networking
  7. Teamwork
  8. Communication

If you can demonstrate these attributes within your LinkedIn profile, and CV, you should significantly enhance your chances of an interview invitation.  

Overall, increasing your chances of employability boils down to you. Be confident, collected and determined, even when things may not seem to be going your way. Positively, the UK job industry appears to be on the up, with vacancies and advertised salaries all increasing by nearly 12% in the first three months of 2018. So, take advantage of placement-focused courses, offer your services for volunteer and work experience, and keep adding to your CV and LinkedIn profile to win the job you want.  

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page