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Students should plan for employment long before graduation

Published: Wednesday, 13 January 2016   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Students need to prepare themselves for future employment from a very early stage, according to a new study.

The research, presented at the British Psychological Society Division of Occupational Psychology annual conference in Nottingham, also suggests that students need to focus on learning key skills if they are to better themselves.

Dr Andrew Clements of the University of Bedfordshire and Dr Caroline Kamau of Birkbeck University of London, who carried out the study, said such actions help to put graduates at the top of the pile when it comes to looking for work.

A total of 432 undergraduate students took part in the research, from more than 20 universities across the UK.

Dr Clements reveals that many universities have chosen to focus on ways that graduate employability can be improved.

He pointed to the percentage of pupils that are still looking for employment six months after graduation and to those that take on roles where a degree is not required.

Students who felt more committed to career targets and who try to challenge themselves to boost their self-development were more likely to be planning for future careers, the study revealed.

At the same time, those who focused on improving their skills and on networking were confident in their abilities on performing to a high level.

This has led Dr Clements to suggest that students should look to set career goals as early as possible, even if graduation seems a long way away during the first or second years of study.

“Undergraduate students often delay preparing for their careers until it is too late,” he explained.

“Students should commit to putting their plans into action because they will prepare them for the tough graduate job market.”

He added that personal tutors and support services are also in a great position to “encourage an early commitment to career preparation” and advises students to consult with them to consider their options. 

For a range of graduate schemes and other roles to help get your career off to a perfect start, visit Grad Plus today

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