Getting students workplace-ready

With the future job market harder to predict than ever before, here’s how to prepare your students for the unknown. Find out how to teach them transferable skills, make sure they’re digitally literate, ready them for the job application process, hone your university career services to perfection and work with industry

Brightly coloured silhouettes cross a bridge

The leap from higher education to employment has always been a daunting one, but in the age of artificial intelligence (AI), the post-Covid remote-working revolution and the pressing danger of climate change, the vision of the future has never been murkier. Today’s students need their universities’ guidance to prepare for jobs that do not exist yet. Here’s how to teach them skills that will always be relevant, offer them the best career services possible, link to industry partners and get them application-ready. 

Tried and tested ways to teach your students soft skills

The introduction of ChatGPT reignited the debate surrounding employability skills. Add two decades of intensifying international competition and a pandemic, and it is no wonder we’re fundamentally rethinking the modern workplace

Kate Pettifer

University of Exeter

Embedding transferable skills 

Some skills will never become obsolete. While universities can’t prepare their students for every possible role, embedding soft skills such as critical thinking, communication and resilience will give them a rock-solid foundation from which to launch their careers. 

Elizabeth Reid Boyd of Edith Cowan University offers her advice on teaching 10 human-centric skills, while Erica Estes and Sean O’Keefe of the University of Arkansas show how to integrate skills teaching into every facet of university life.

Application perfection

Help your students show their best selves to prospective employers, whether that’s through well written CVs, honing their interview skills or teaching them how to network. Lewis Humphreys at the London School of Economics and Political Science offers tips on prepping students for in-person and remote interviews, while the Clayton Christiansen Institute’s Julia Freeland Fisher offers tips on teaching them to network.

Provide guidance with careers services

Students searching for employment will be looking for careers advice on campus. Both in-person and online services can walk with students on their first few steps on the career path, offering guidance, practical help and industry contacts.  

Post University’s Camille Dumont recommends modernising your career services, as Andy Wistow of the University of Bristol advocates for innovation.