Are you in college?
Are you looking to kick start your career with a high package at your dream job?
The mantra is to start preparing for it early. It is very likely that the curriculum your college or university is following hasn’t been updated in a while. This just means that when you graduate you might be armed with a degree from a coveted college but are still not able to land your dream job. A Forbes study has revealed that most graduates do not have the basic skill set required for a job by the employer. This includes topics that we think we are good at like basic mathematics, logical and reasoning abilities as well as communication skills.
Wasn’t your degree supposed to get you the required skills for getting jobs?
While a degree definitely gives you an edge over some, it is your acquired skill sets that help you in the long run. If you find yourself losing a job to someone less qualified, then it is fair to assume that the person had invested time in upgrading their job relevant skill set. Employers prefer candidates who have prior industry/field experience to reduce the amount of resourceful time spent on training the candidate from scratch. Most of the coursework today has become redundant as per the industry standards. For example, a course on advanced cloud computing showcases the latest trends in the industry that have been prevalent for over a decade (not exactly new!) or the computer science programming languages that are taught are the ones which are being phased out by major multinational companies. Moreover, with the lack of an upgraded curriculum or the subjects taught, the current education is losing its value and not giving the student what is expected out of it which is why the tuition/coaching industry is at its peak in the country. There is interest amongst people to do better, learn more and become knowledgeable at something or another to come out on top.
“The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think”-Albert Einstein
What do you do now?
Start early! Join an internship or an apprenticeship program in your area of interest. Learning on the job will give you a better exposure in the industry and how things work in the real world. While some colleges have an active ‘Placement Cell’ giving students options to choose from, most of the colleges lag behind. Either way, it is always a good option to start leveraging the online internship and job portals like Internshala, LetsIntern, Indeed to look at what openings are present at companies looking for candidates in your field of interest, city and how you should be setting your expectations.
Do some extra-curricular activity! Your prospective employer looks out for individuals who have been active beyond their regular coursework. Take out time to maybe take that tennis lesson, join a gym, learn guitar or master a new language.
Be informed! The best way to do this would be to keep yourself up to date by reading relevant articles, blogs and newspaper in not just the area where you want to find a job but generally about the industry, sports, politics etc. Not only will these keep you updated about the developing market trends but also give your employer an impression that you are a well-rounded individual who can understand all situations along with some sort of common ground to strike up a friendly conversation.
Improve communication skills! You may know your work very well but not being able to sell it will definitely rank you down in the list of prospective candidates. Regular interactions in social clubs, being outspoken among your friends will boost your confidence and communication abilities that will add weightage to your candidature in front of your employer.
Attend workshops! Workshops help in developing the basic skill set that will be of great advantage when you enter the job market. Try and take advantage of workshops that industry leaders and experts perform in your area. Listening and learning from experts will help you get a leg up.
Networking! Become a member of and socialise through different college groups. It might take effort but will help you build contacts and teach you how to adapt to different kind of people (not to mention you will make some great friends). It will show your employer that you are a team player, well connected and affable when you apply for a job.
Social Service (NGO)! Join an NGO. Not only will it give you the much-needed exposure but also a sense of empathy in you. Working with people across different parts of society will make you thoughtful and understanding as an individual and develop your personality.
In today’s day and age, the workforce is increasing by the millions each year and job openings are only increasing by the thousands. It is imperative that you leave a lasting impression on the employer. Please try to use some of the pointers from here and use them in your life and you’ll be surprised at how it might change you, your outlook and your future!
“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” – Confucius