The importance of Higher Education qualifications could have an influence at both individual and social levels. Someone could benefit individually by achieving better job progression opportunities. Also, the implication at a social level is the fact that there will be an adaptable and highly-skilled workforce. Further, as Harvey stated, “the primary role of higher education is increasingly to transform students by enhancing their knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities while simultaneously empowering them as lifelong critical, reflective learners” (1).
Studying at a university or college is a great opportunity to develop your transferable skills and attributes which will make you more employable. The transferable or generic skills will help you boost your confidence regarding the job application process.
Which are the desirable skills, abilities and attributes which employers are looking for?
Studying in the United Kingdom is not just a British experience; it is also an international one as you can meet students from all over the world. This is the first step to enhance your employability as you can develop your cultural intelligence. At the university or college you have the opportunity to understand different cultures, their believes, attitudes, behaviours, and you can adapt accordingly. Further, this ability will definitely help you become more employable as it will be easier for you to work effectively in a group with different people and adjust efficiently according to people’s culture. Also, the cultural intelligence and the emotional intelligence are some of the abilities employers are looking for when they want to hire graduates.
According to Bennett, “flexibility is an essential skill in order to “fit in” a company. Other important skills are:
Finally, apart from these skills, work experience is vital to get the job you want. During university/college it is beneficial to do internships or placements. There are many advantages of this practice: you can enhance your skills in a professional environment, build your confidence, broaden your network as you collaborate with other students, learn from the industry professionals and you will get knowledge about the career path you are pursuing. Moreover, both internships and placements can really set the foundation for your future job, but make sure you apply for those which are related to the field you are really interested in.
Also, don’t forget! Your positive attitude matters a lot! It is a very important aspect you can bring to a company.
1- Harvey L. (2000)’New realities: the relationship between higher education and employment’, Tertiary Education and Management, 6, pp. 3–17, Available at: http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/esecttools/relatedpubs/New%20Realities.pdf
2- Bennett R. (2006) ‘Employers’ Demands for Personal Transferable Skills in Graduates: a content analysis of 1000 job advertisements and an associated empirical study’, Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 54(4), pp. 457-476, Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13636820200200209