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Career Advice

Do degrees increase your chance of employment?

In the current economy, recruitment figures are not always as promising as we’d like. In fact, there are many industries which have noted a graduatessignificant decline in job opportunities since the onset of the financial recession in 2008 and for some areas unemployment figures are undoubtedly high.

For those studying at university level, the prospect of finding work upon graduating is therefore somewhat daunting. Whilst it is still generally true that educating yourself to this level will increase your chance of securing a better paid position there are no guarantees in the world of employment and that means current and prospective students need to consider their options carefully.

Degrees which perform well

As with all things relating to finances and the job market, the true state of recruitment will vary between industries, locations and individual circumstances. Whilst some areas will experience growth, others will stagnate.

Currently, industries such as physical science, business, manufacturing and medicine are all performing fairly well. For 2010-2011, almost 90% of graduates of physical science subjects found a job within 6 months of leaving university. For medicine and healthcare related disciplines, this figure grew to 99.4% of graduates.

This doesn’t mean that all students should look towards studying these subjects. It is important to choose a university course which is applicable to your interests and skills and there is room for enthusiastic and dedicated candidates in all fields of work. The important thing is to know what recruiters are looking for and then do you best to provide them with it.

Academic proficiency and practical experiencegraduate employment

The most common thing which employers look for in job candidates is the ability to demonstrate practical experience in addition to academic proficiency. Whilst you want to dedicate as much of your time to your studies as possible due to the fact you are paying for this education it is still important to get hand-so experience in the real world.

This means looking for opportunities to undertake work placements associated with your area of study or industry. Academic holidays are a great time to undertake these and mean you won’t have to sacrifice any of your precious term time.

Experience is vital in all areas of employment but perhaps one subject which requires it most is business. Theoretical knowledge is all well and good but when it comes to putting you in charge of important transactions and business affairs, employers will want evidence that you know what you’re doing.

What about further education?

If you don’t think that the current economy is conducive to finding work then further education is another viable option. A masters degree in any subject will give you even greater knowledge and expertise in your chosen field and put you in an even stronger position to find work in the future. What’s better, it will delay the job hunting process a little longer – giving the economy time to recover.

This is a guest post for TheEmployable

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