Person 1: Bachelors degree, Masters degree and PhD candidate; No work experience
Person 2: Bachelors degree, 12 month internship, working full-time at a firm/company
Can anyone see the difference between the 2 individuals? Ever heard the phrase “Oh you’re a graduate, you should immediately find work”. Its 2018, not 1967. We as graduates have to engage in some sort of internship or volunteering opportunity to enhance our employability skills. Back in the day (1967s), it was easier for graduates to switch from university life to the workplace. However, in the 21st century there seems to be a gap between those leaving university and the workplace.
Realistically, don’t expect the job opportunity to fall into your lap. Just because you might be studying outside of your home country does not mean it is easy to get employed. In fact, you are worse off since you are not a citizen of the country you are studying in. So what do I do? Actively searching for work experience in the form of internships (whether paid or unpaid), volunteering or part-time work is the first step. Secondly, networking is also important, by engaging with people who have worked in the field it will open up windows of opportunity to understand the different avenues of getting into your chosen field.
It is quite disheartening when certain companies ask for 5-10 years of professional work experience in a specific field claiming it as an entry-level job… “Like where do you expect me to get that from”. Without any work experience, you’ll become a #StrugglingGraduate. Doing a PhD is neither the solution unless you’re interested in a career in the academic field. Remember, no matter the amount of qualifications and certificates you have, if the experience is not there, then it becomes very difficult to get a job (Not to say its impossible). The question that remains is how can we close the gap between those leaving university and preparing them for the workplace?
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