7 Ways Universities Can Effectively Prepare Students for the Workplace

In this article, we will be sharing our top 7 strategies that universities can use to effectively prepare their students for their future careers.

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A degree isn’t enough to land a job anymore and that’s why as students start their higher education journey, they need to also begin considering and preparing for their future careers. Career preparation for students is essential, playing an important role in helping students navigate the world of work and driving them towards their desired professional paths. Effective career preparation provides students with the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise for success in their future job roles.

Recent graduates (2020 onwards), currently face a massive unemployment rate of 12%. Whilst 88% of graduates are employed, a majority of them aren’t in roles related to the degree they studied so hard for. This is why more than ever, it’s crucial that universities equip their students with the experiences and support to make the transition from education to the workforce.

In this article, we will be sharing our top 7 strategies that universities can use to effectively prepare their students for their future careers.

1. Inspire Students to Participate in Self-Discovery

Universities need to encourage self-discovery among their students. Before their students actively start seeking out new roles, they need to know themselves on a deeper level. Self-discovery means students will be able to identify their interests, passions, values, strengths and weaknesses. When your students have a better understanding of their own abilities, they will be able to align their career choices more accordingly. From career assessments with advisors to personality tests, there are a few ways universities can encourage their students to learn more about themselves before entering the workforce.

2. Gather Research on Industries and Roles

As a university, you should be researching industries, job roles and market trends to pass on to your students to ensure they make the best career decisions moving forward. Not only should you be researching but also prompting students to do their research through career fairs and resources. From job requirements to salary expectations, research further allows your students to choose a field and role that aligns with their aspirations and values.

3. Offer Networking Opportunities

Offering networking options is a strategy that will open doors and valuable opportunities for your students. Planning industry events, workshops on building networking skills and internships, for example, will help your students establish meaningful professional connections to help them be more successful in their careers. Networking helps students foster long-term relationships that will further support career growth. We also suggest nurturing an alumni network as these individuals can provide guidance, support and opportunities for your current students. Alumni engagement is an incredibly valuable asset for universities and a great way to ensure development among students.

4. Implement Mentoring Programmes for Students

Mentoring comes with some impressive benefits that aren’t just limited to professionals in the workplace but also students. Mentoring fosters personal, professional and academic development. Mentors are there to offer support and guidance to their mentees, contributing their valuable insights and advice. From improved skills to increased motivation, there are a large number of benefits associated with student mentoring programmes that universities can’t afford to miss out on. To learn more about how mentoring programmes would benefit your students and the different types of mentoring styles that can be used, book a free demonstration with us today.

5. Emphasise the Importance of Personal Branding

In the new age, where technology is at the heart of everything, students must focus on building an online presence. Personal branding will help your students set themselves apart from the competition. Hosting workshops and events that focus on building great LinkedIn profiles that display things such as their skills and accomplishments will help students showcase their full potential. Not only will this improve their chances of landing a job compared to candidates going for the same role but could also capture the attention of potential employers.

6. Provide Skill Development Opportunities

In the ever-competitive job market, students need to develop their skill set and freshen up on important soft skills required by employers. While most employers expect high levels of education from their candidates, they also value skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and communication. You must provide opportunities for your students to develop their skills if you want to ensure career progression and development in the future. Providing things such as workshops and extracurricular activities will help your students learn and develop their skills effectively.

7. Foster Industry Partnerships and Internships

Universities need to be building partnerships with industry leaders, local businesses, organisations and alumni. By doing so, they can facilitate internships, job shadowing and support. These are crucial for students and allow them to learn the in-demand skills required by their industry or role. These partnerships mean that students can gain experience, whilst bridging the gap between education and the workplace. It also means students can keep up to date with the latest trends in their field, make new professional connections and potentially be offered a job after their internship has finished.

Final Thoughts

Universities play an important role in shaping the future professionals of the workplace. By inspiring students to participate in self-discovery, researching industries, offering networking opportunities, investing in mentoring programmes, showcasing the importance of personal branding, enabling skill development and finding industry partners, universities can ensure that their students have the best chance at landing their dream role.

Equipping students with the right skills, knowledge and research, empowers students to become more competent and successful professionals in their desired roles.

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