7 Signs Your University Actually Cares About Your Career

7 Signs Your University Actually Cares About Your Career

Mathilde Frot

Updated January 28, 2022 Updated January 28

What do you want to gain from your degree? For many students the answer is quick and simple: a good job!

Sadly, not all universities have an equally strong focus on helping students prepare for the competitive graduate jobs market. So, if you’re worried about finding a job after university, here are seven signs that your chosen university is set up to offer the support you need.

1. Industry placements

Some universities incorporate work placements within their curricula. Industry placements are a great way to get relevant experience before you graduate – giving you something to talk about during interviews, and a chance to make connections that could come in handy during your job search. On some courses, especially in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), you’ll have the chance to spend an entire year gaining work experience – often known as a ‘sandwich year’ – typically in your second or third year.

2. Links with employers

Your university should be doing its utmost to foster strong links with employers to render its careers service more useful, whether that means inviting employers to deliver presentations, participating in career fairs, or offering work experience schemes. Employer-student connections is one category assessed in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings, alongside each institution’s partnerships with employers, employer reputation, alumni outcomes and graduate employment rates.

3. Exchange programs

2014 study undertaken by the European Commission confirmed that students who participated in the EU’s Erasmus exchange program have an unemployment rate 23 percent lower than their peers, and are half as likely to experience long-term unemployment. Given that 64 percent of employers consider international experience to be an important factor when recruiting, it shouldn’t be too surprising to learn that participating in an exchange program boosts your employability!

4. Training workshops and recruitment fairs

Does the career service regularly organize training and job-hunting workshops to help you build transferrable skills and land interviews? What about recruitment fairs? Will you have the chance to meet with employers in the sector/s you’re interested in? Do employers run interviews on campus? These are all strong signs that your university is committed to helping students achieve their career goals.

5. An impressive graduate employment rate

According to statistics issued by the British government, the average employment rate for graduates of working age in the UK is 89.1 percent. While obviously employment rates vary by subject, they also depend a great deal on the university. Check out the latest employment rates for your chosen university – and if possible, the exact course you’re considering. And look for examples of the kind of roles graduates have gone on to.

6. A powerful alumni network 

Some alumni networks offer perks to their members, such as laptop discounts or university-branded credit cards. But the real benefits should be about the connections available to you. A powerful alumni network will allow you to connect with professionals in your sector around the world, with the chance to reach out for advice, access job opportunities, and start your career in a strong position.

7. Entrepreneurship training and funding

If you care about employability, make sure the university you choose offers entrepreneurship training and support for budding entrepreneurs. This could be in the form of business skills workshops, start-up accelerators, grants and funding, or dedicated student groups. Even if you don’t want to start your own business yourself, entrepreneurship training is another good sign that a university has a strong focus on helping students achieve their career goals.

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This article was originally published in September 2018 . It was last updated in October 2021

Written by

I'm originally French but I grew up in Casablanca, Kuala Lumpur and Geneva. When I'm not writing for QS, you'll usually find me sipping espresso(s) with a good paperback.


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