Where is your education taking you?
Have you completed a course with the expectation of a job at the end of it? Or are you considering further study, but unsure of which path to go down?
Many people complete courses, university degrees and postgraduate studies with the expectation of employment at the end of it. Unfortunately, education is focused on attaining largely technical skills and lags behind the rapidly changing landscape of the work environment OR employment market. Always check the employment prospects for the target job market and do not assume that the course you complete will enhance your job prospects. Just because a course exists, it doesn’t mean that there are good job prospects in that specific field. For example, there may be a surplus of Accounting and Pharmacy graduates, however universities continue to take on new students.
When selecting postgraduate courses it is advisable to check the demand and relevance of the course or degree. Any further study is certainly valuable to the individual; however, will it translate into your dream career? For example people often pursue postgraduate studies such as an MBA, with the expectation it will lead to a new career path or career advancement – an MBA is a generalist degree and as such has no specific career path, other than to consulting firms who tend to place a high value on MBA candidates.
Try before you buy! MOOCs
Before you sign up to a degree or certification you could consider taking a look at MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses (Links to an external site) or Coursera (Links to an external site) to see what kind of free courses you can sign up for initially until you have career clarity.
Career prospect research
Have you researched career paths you’re considering and the relevant degrees or certifications? Be sure to also research future job prospects in these fields over the next 5-10 years. You can research here at Future Outlook (Links to an external site.)
It is important to note that in the Australian job market companies tend to value experience over education. They are looking for candidates who have applied their learning in some capacity, either in a paid job, volunteer position, board or committee role or self-employment.
Careers are no longer linear
The maturation of some of the 20th-century industries and advances in technology greatly affected career opportunities in the 21st century. Worldwide financial crises and evolving technology have changed the demand for certain skills and the number of employees as well. In addition, people are becoming more fluid and may work in more than one country in their career lifetime.
The result is that we are now more likely to experience frequent job or career changes and we cannot rely on our employer to manage our career. Dr Jim Bright, a leading career researcher, explains in this short video below that change is dynamic and continual. Chaos Theory of Careers suggests that we need to be strategic in our career management and have the skills to be ready to accept random opportunities as they arise.
A lot of people don’t invest enough time or attention to their ongoing career strategy and don’t put a high enough value on personal skills development beyond technical skills. Unfortunately, the chaos of the world of work means that there is less support in the workplace to give effective feedback and provide opportunities to develop skills such as writing, presenting, negotiating, networking and building resilience. This all leads to a lack of self-awareness and a strategy to create the career you desire through a step-by-step process. It can result in a career blocker at a certain level in an organisation or constant rejections in job applications.
This program will help you to develop your career strategy and develop self-awareness to enable you to navigate the employment market better than your competition.