Avatar
Hello
Guest
Log In or Sign Up
Which? University – How to Find Career Inspiration in Unexpected Places
January 9, 2020
0

No clue about your future career yet? You might not be looking in all the right places…

If you’ve been searching for an answer in Buzzfeed quizzes and have yet to feel inspired, let’s get you thinking a bit differently.

While there are a number of reasons to choose a particular career – from earning big bucks to a desire to change the world – you need to have a few options to choose from first. So where should you look for ideas? 

Here are six places you may not have considered for a fresh dose of career inspiration:

1. What you’re watching

An easy one to begin with. Watching TV or a film could get you thinking critically about career possibilities in a way that doesn’t feel like ‘research’ or ‘work’.

Documentaries and the news are particularly good for this. Those interviewed usually have their full job title pop up on-screen, giving you a starting place to learn more. Also, a lot of fields and sectors tend to be covered in a 30 minute news broadcast.

Just be aware that the way a job is depicted in fictional TV and films may not be 100% accurate… Don’t be fooled by the ‘CSI Effect’ that might place an unrealistic shine on a less-than-glamorous career.

#CareerGoals: lawyersdoctors and playwrights talk about their jobs

2. Passions and interests

You might instinctively separate personal interests and career options as two things that should never cross over. But something you do for fun can actually have a career in it!

For example, if you’re a diehard Chelsea fan, chances are you probably won’t make the starting eleven at Stamford Bridge. But there could be a profession in the same vicinity which suits your strengths. A sports journalist, nutritionist or physiotherapist could keep you close to the action, without actually touching a ball.

Think carefully about mixing work and pleasure, though. Perhaps you’d prefer keeping that passion as something you do for fun and can always escape to?

3. Part-time job

Not feeling inspired by that Saturday job right now?

The job you’re doing now probably isn’t long-term, but use it as an opportunity to test out what sort of skills you excel in (teamwork, problem solving, customer service?), as well as what other roles there might be further up the chain if you’re working for a larger business.

On your next break, pick your manager’s brain about how they got to where they are, plus other opportunities there may be. Could they put in a good word for you at a head office to get some (corporate) work experience?

A good example might be a career as a fashion buyer, if your current part-time job is in a clothes shop. Working your way up from a shop floor and gaining an understanding of different corners of the company can work in your favour, later. 

4. Brands

Is there a brand or company which you’re fiercely loyal to or really admire? Do you know how many people are responsible for the end-product or service they put out? You might be surprised…

Browse companies’ websites for an ‘About Us’ or ‘Meet The Team’ section, and learn about the different individuals working behind-the-scenes, including their career journey. This can give you a rough blueprint of what you need to follow a similar path (and even a named contact to reach out to with questions).

Similarly, a company’s vacancies or jobs page can provide detailed insight about specific roles and what qualifications, skills and experience they look for.

Popular careers and jobs  what are they, what they involve and how to achieve them

5. Family that’s not mum or dad

Our parents or guardians are usually our primary role models growing up. But if what they do for a living doesn’t interest you, who else in the family can you ask? Aunts and uncles? Cousins? It might be worth catching up with them over email (maybe it’s time to finally accept their Facebook request…).

Do you even know what these extended family members do for a living? Are they still doing what they were doing five years ago? If they changed career direction recently, could their reasons for doing so contain some pearls of wisdom? You never know, they might be doing something really cool which you never knew about.

Family and family friend connections can also help you find work experience.

Learn more about a degree subject: including popular jobs and average graduate salary

6. New jobs

Social media manager, app designer, data analyst, community manager… These are just some of today’s careers which didn’t exist 10 years ago. 

Emerging jobs are usually down to significant technological shifts. It’s quite invigorating to think that some of the big jobs of tomorrow may not technically exist right now, or that they may sprout from existing roles.

If the traditional job roles you hear about everywhere (e.g. doctor, lawyer, police officer) don’t interest you, keep in mind that the job landscape is always evolving. You might just need to do a bit of research around the direction certain industries are moving in.

Two-Thirds of Universities and Colleges Have Seen Rise in Student Drop-Out Rates
January 9, 2020
0

Two-thirds of UK universities and colleges have seen a rise in the proportion of students dropping out in recent years.

Data analysed by the Press Association found that in the period from 2011-12 to 2016-17, 100 higher education institutions (67 per cent) saw an increase in the proportion of students dropping out.

Forty-six institutions (31 per cent) saw a fall in dropout rates, while the figure was unchanged at four universities and colleges.

The largest proportional increase was seen at the University of Abertay, Dundee, which had an 8.6 percentage point rise from 3.5 per cent in 2011-12, to 12.1 per cent in 2016-17.

‘Challenging barriers’

A spokesman for the university said it recognised “there is a need to improve student retention”.

In England, Bedfordshire University had the biggest increase, at 6.9 percentage points, rising from 8.3 per cent in 2011-12 to 15.2 per cent in 2016-17.

A spokeswoman said: “As a widening participation university our students can face challenging barriers to success.

She said many Bedfordshire students are “balancing the responsibilities of family and work with studying for a degree”, and “unable to turn to the bank of ‘mum and dad’”.

‘Up their game’

The analysis was based on data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency for 150 universities and colleges, and covers UK, full-time undergraduate students who were no longer in higher education the year after they started their course.

It comes at a time when student welfare is in the spotlight, with universities facing increased scrutiny over the support they give students and the value for money of their degrees.

In September the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, wrote to universities demanding they “up their game” by cutting drop out rates.

Image result for Chris Skidmore, the universities minister

Responding to the latest figures, Chris Skidmore, the universities minister, said: “I want to see each university and indeed courses held individually accountable for how many students are successfully obtaining a degree, so that we can be transparent and open about where there are real problems.”

‘Flourishing’ students

“Many universities are doing excellent work to support students, but it’s essential that dropout rates are reduced. We cannot afford to see this level of wasted talent,” he added.

A spokesman for Universities UK said: “Universities are committed to widening access to higher education and ensuring students from all backgrounds can succeed and progress.”

“This includes supporting students to achieve the best outcomes in not only getting into university, but flourishing while they are there.”

In October i reported that some universities are keeping electronic tabs on their students’ movements and using algorithms to identify those students most at risk of quitting.

ESFA Update: 8 January 2020

Latest information and actions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and further education providers.

Documents

ESFA Update further education: 8 January 2020

ESFA Update academies: 8 January 2020

ESFA Update local authorities: 8 January 2020

Details
Items for further education providers
Informationthe integrated financial model for colleges
Informationupdate on 2020 to 2021 individualised learner record (ILR) specification
Informationqualification achievement rates (QAR) 2018 to 2019 – provisional data window
Information16 to 19 funding allocations 2020 to 2021
Informationreview of end year 16 to 19 study programmes data for 2017 to 2018
InformationSafer Internet Day 2020
Informationadvice on High Pressure Laminate systems
Items for academies
Reminderteachers’ pension employer contribution grant supplementary fund
Informationdedicated schools grant (DSG) for 2020 to 2021
Informationpupil premium and other grants for 2020 to 2021
Informationearly years national funding formula (EYNFF) operational guidance for 2020 to 2021
Informationupdated pupil number adjustment (PNA) tool for academies funded on estimates
Information16 to 19 funding allocations 2020 to 2021
Informationreview of end year 16 to 19 study programmes data for 2017 to 2018
InformationQuality in Careers Standard events
Informationfree training for school leaders in integrated curriculum and financial planning
Informationadvice on High Pressure Laminate systems
Items for local authorities
Reminderteachers’ pension employer contribution grant supplementary fund
Informationdedicated schools grant (DSG) for 2020 to 2021
Informationpupil premium and other grants for 2020 to 2021
Informationearly years national funding formula (EYNFF) operational guidance for 2020 to 2021
Informationupdate to high needs benchmarking tool
Information16 to 19 funding allocations 2020 to 2021
Informationreview of end year 16 to 19 study programmes data for 2017 to 2018
InformationQuality in Careers Standard events
Informationfree training for school leaders in integrated curriculum and financial planning
Informationadvice on High Pressure Laminate systems

Published 8 January 2020