An article in today’s Guardian looks at some of the steps graduates should take to start a career when they leave university. According to the piece — Graduate careers: six ways to get a job after university — these are some of the major things that students should bear in mind when thinking about the future:
1. Decide on a career path and focus all your energy on achieving it
2. Don’t think about your first job as the defining one
3. Doing a master’s won’t make you more or less employable
4. Harness the power of social media
5. Take charge of your job search
6. Don’t give up on your dream job
There is something missing. Let’s call it the 7th way to get a job after university, which is:
7. Check out the demand for the career you are interested in and, if necessary, adjust your chosen path to better fit the likely opportunities that exist out there
In other words, deciding on a career path and not giving up on that path may be well and good, but if there are likely to be no jobs in that particular field when you graduate, you might well be better off considering something else, perhaps using a similar skillset to the one you have. Is this possible? Absolutely. Through the use of good labour market information, students and prospective students can find the answers to the following questions which are crucial to their making good career choices:
1. What employment opportunities are likely to exist in a particular occupation over the coming years?
2. What are the entry, median and high level wages that I could earn in this occupation?
3. What other jobs are there in my local and regional economy which require similar skills?
To find out how this works in practice, we would urge you to click onto the Southampton Solent Career Coach site and have a play about with the careers information it gives to students and prospective students. For anyone wondering which path to take after they graduate, this information really could make the difference between success and frustration.