Help with your Career Planning & Employability
The job market is always changing and it is impossible to predict what it will be like when you graduate. However, it is clear that graduates are more likely to gain higher level employment than those without degrees. As well as getting a good degree, however, you will also need to demonstrate that you have the qualities and skills required by the employers for whom you might wish to work.
A number of reports on skills development in Higher Education and recent employer surveys have highlighted the following skills as being important in graduate recruits:
- Problem solving
- Research skills
- Improving own learning and performance
- Team work
- Information technology
- Application of number
- Personal development and career planning
- Subject-specific skills
These skills are acquired by students through a variety of activities, and you will develop new, and further develop existing, skills throughout your studies. However, it is also important to make the most of other opportunities for skills development such as taking part in work experience programmes, helping to run clubs and societies and using the excellent sporting, musical and theatrical facilities available at Aberystwyth.
The University has introduced a personal development planning (PDP) tool - the Academic and Personal Progress Review (APPR) - to develop your awareness of the skills you will learn at university and elsewhere. Run by your department, the APPR will give you an opportunity to look back at your progress and also to set objectives for the future. Skill development is also recognised formally by the Credits Plus scheme which accredits participation in the Year in Employment Scheme, whilst there is the opportunity to gain the City & Guilds Professional Development Award when undertaking a GO Wales Placement.
Careers Information and Guidance
You may already have clear ideas about the career you wish to pursue, or you may currently be unaware of the wide range of career options which are open to you. Whatever your situation, it is important that you start thinking about your personal and professional development from day one. The Careers Advisory Service offers a number of services designed to help you make the right decisions about your future career and realise your full potential.
Centrally located on the main campus, the Careers Advisory Service has a well-stocked library and a range of information technology resources to help you with your career planning. Experienced Careers Advisers can assist you to:
- Identify and articulate your strengths and weaknesses
- Understand the requirements of employers
- Produce effective job applications
- Prepare for job interviews
- Plan for further study
We organise skills workshops which cover a variety of topics such as CVs, applications, interviews and aptitude tests. We also organise a programme of employer visits from organisations as diverse as the Civil Service and Logica, as well as professional associations.
The Career Development Programme (CDP)
This programme aims to give you information relevant to your career planning and to develop your career management skills. Sessions are run in most departments and are usually embedded in an academic module. Topics include information about employers' requirements, skills analysis, action planning and much more.Passport to Your Future
The Careers Advisory Service has launched a comprehensive and innovative web service for students which enables you to:
- Receive relevant information based on your specific career interests and needs
- Book workshops, events and activities on-line
- Create and store records of work activity useful for job hunting
- Prepare for your future most effectively while you're at university
“I took part in Aberystwyth University’s Year in Employment Scheme (YES), and my placement was based at Kew Gardens in West London, working on the millennium seed bank. It’s a big conservation project, aiming to conserve the world’s plants.
It was a lab based 9-5 job. In the morning we would set up our experiments. Once we were given a subject we were left alone to investigate it, in whichever way we felt necessary. There was a lot of support and guidance from supervisors.
I think a year in employment focuses your mind on the next year of university. When you’ve worked for a year doing 9-5 hours it changes you’re attitude to work, so you’re more prepared to work. It’s such a shock when you have to get up and go to work!
I think it will look good on my CV; experience that’s what employers are after. I’d recommend the scheme to anyone.”