Written by: Tom Davie – Former Head of Sunderland Futures and the Careers and Employability Service at the University of Sunderland
I recently trawled the internet for current articles relating to student employability. Almost by accident, I stumbled on provocative headlines such as, ‘Skills v Passion, which is more important for Entrepreneurs?’; ‘Is it time for us to stop encouraging our children to make a living doing only the things they love to do?’; ‘The difference between passions, skills and talent’; ‘The secrets to career contentment, is doing what you love a formula for success?’
It really made me think as a Careers Adviser and Manager about the many young people my colleagues and I have seen. People from different countries and societies, from different socio-economic backgrounds, with disabilities, with differing career ambitions and aspirations, those who are and were confused by the complexity of career options available to them (unable or unwilling to make decisions).
All of this helped me to reflect on and indeed question what careers education, information, advice and guidance is all about. What is the purpose or indeed the point? As careers professionals, academics, employers, or indeed writers and producers on such matters are we leading or directing students, empowering them to make informed decisions, equipping them to succeed now and in the future?
If the answer to the above is, ‘all of those things’, then how do we do it and how can we do it better? Yes we know what the graduate labour market is like now and we know what skills and attributes employers are looking for now; but what will the future hold? How can we offer students sustained value for money and value for time in terms of career planning materials and resources? And at times that suit their timelines and lifestyles?
How can we manage the expectations of our further and higher education institutions – our ‘political masters’ that require positive employability outcomes in an increasingly competitive world – where such results are the critical measure of success?
We don’t know what the future holds – we aren’t in a sense ‘Futurologists’! We don’t know if the same jobs will exist in 10, 20, or 30 years time or whether new ones beyond our comprehension will come into being.
What I am confident in sharing with you is that in a generation where a career may not be for life, where the students we see will have had multiple jobs or multiple careers before they retire, Epigeum’s Skills and Attributes for Career Success: Developing an Enterprising Mindset suite of courses will provide an accessible and holistic way to deliver enterprise skills training across campus to develop undergraduates with enterprising qualities.
All Epigeum courses are created bringing together leading universities and subject experts from around the world to develop subject-specific content. By joining this programme’s collaboration you will have the opportunity to share best practice with universities worldwide and:
- Agree the course curriculum and peer-review the courses as they are developed
- Receive a campus-wide licence in perpetuity
- Secure high-quality content at a fraction of the cost of developing material in-house
- Create extensive networking opportunities and career enhancing experiences.