Employability is so important when choosing a university. This is, after all, why many people go to university in the first place: to improve their employment prospects and value in recruiters’ eyes. But how can you compare universities’ track record on preparing students for the workplace? And how can you make the most of university resources to further boost your own employability?
How to compare universities by employment rate
First, it is recommended to search on the university website or other sources to find out the average employment rate after graduation. Some universities will not publish the employment rate for each program, but overall. But this can still provide an indication of the performance of the university in employability.
Some countries actually publish the average employment rate of all universities; this is the case in Australia. Students can check the proportion of graduates in full-time employment on the government-run site MyUniversity. In the UK, Unistats similarly enables future students to search for graduation outcomes for specific degrees. Newcastle University, which has a five-star rating for employability in the QS Star assessment system (and five stars overall), has one of the best graduate employment rates in the country, according to UK government statistics.
Making the most of careers staff at your university
Before choosing an institution, you may also want to compare universities’ careers advice teams. Careers staff are dedicating to helping students prepare for work, and should be able to provide guidance on the job market and employability trends. The more careers advisors available, the easier it should be to secure one-to-one appointments. A larger careers service also means staff members have more time to nurture relationships with local businesses, as well as helping students gain skills and training.
If you look at the University of Sydney, for instance, which has been rated five stars for employability and five stars plus overall, there are a variety of dedicated careers staff working on employability. Some staff members are specialized on developing industry relationships, whilst others will be dedicated to ensuring students have opportunities to gain all the necessary career skills needed to get started in their chosen field.
There are other options to explore when finding ways to boost your employability. For example, adding internships and work experience to your curriculum will enable you to gain professional experience before graduating, acquiring useful skills that will make you more employable. Taking part in student societies, and organizing events and projects, are also valuable experiences that can help to boost your employability.