College is just a small step on the road to realising, utilising and fulfilling your potential. Some college experiences amount to taking lectures all day and attending club meetings. Unfortunately, that is not going to prepare you for the necessary money-making venture later on. Colleges sometimes don’t do their part as students are thrust into the practical world without any prior knowledge of the job market. The college experience should comprise much more than passive learning and industrialised narrative of pedagogy. Students, of every discipline from STEM to liberal arts, must be exposed to and mentored in the knowledge of job employment. The earlier students are exposed to the reality of the job market, the better they can equip themselves to climb the ladder. So, what can academic institutions do differently? Here are five changes that universities can incorporate into their structure to prepare students for the “after-life”.
1. Alumni Mentorship Seminars
What better way to familiarise students with the temperature of employment opportunities than the former students? Arranging workshops, seminars, group lessons to enable harmonious communication between former students and senior batches is a great idea to boost career support among students. The Alumni member must be a practitioner who can provide valuable insight to the students. Similarly, students can ask questions about internships, resumes, jobs e.tc. The former student can teach and mentor the students in the same wavelength as they went through the same processes to be where they are now. Once the feedback from these groups improves, then such programs can be held yearly, monthly or weekly.
2. University-Industry linkage Programs or University-Recruiter Programs
University-industry linkage programs are collaborative efforts where industrialists, scientists, professors mentor the students on possible job opportunities after academia life. It is also an excellent platform for the industrialists to screen talented individuals for job openings at their workplaces. University-industry linkage programs are especially helpful for science and STEM graduates as it opens up a variety of pathways for them to enhance their innovative skills. Similarly, recruiters can join hands with universities to scout for talent for positions in their companies.
3. Resume Writing Workshops
Your resume is what a passport is for a great vacation. Before you get shortlisted, you need to vow the employer with your CV. Many candidates don’t know how to follow the standard guidelines on CV making. Candidates should be trained on the art of CV making. Common topics to touch on such workshops could include; “How to organise header sections (experience, objective, skills, interests) in your resume”. “How to write the specifics of previous internships or job experiences properly”. Use of proper language and font structure and “how to customise your CV according to the job that you are applying for”.
Universities should play an active role in guiding students to achieve their ideal job. An academic institution is not just a place for ornamental learning and personal grooming. It must also be a place to train students for vocational life.