Recruitment experts urge: ‘choose university course commercially’

A LEVEL students taking their next step on the education ladder are being urged to think ‘commercially’ before making a final decision about their university course.

With the cost of studying set to soar next year, it is imperative that students opt for courses which will give them a solid grounding for their future – and that doesn’t just mean achieving a good degree from a good university.

Nel Woolcott is a recruitment partner at Anne Corder Recruitment, an independent recruitment agency based in Peterborough.

“Employers are looking for enhanced CVs,” said Nel. “They want graduates who have shown initiative, taken on work experience and completed work placements. They are looking for people with degrees who have invested their time wisely – candidates who have demonstrated a sound understanding of the business world.”

Nel has spent time delivering careers presentations to school leavers. One of her tips is to research not just a university course but also its results.

“It’s no longer just about choosing a degree course because it sounds fun or because you were good at the subject at school,” said Nel. “Find out how many of the graduates have secured jobs in the industry you’re interested in. Research the field you’d like to work in, understand what employers require and then arm yourself with those requirements.

“When you graduate you will need something that will set you apart – and often the attraction for a potential employer will be the fact you have experience. A sandwich course with a year spent on work placement for instance will give you an edge. A course which gives you enough free hours to work part time will enable you to build up your skill set and, if you do a good job, you’ll also leave with work place references.”

Anne Corder Recruitment has recorded a recent spike in demand for graduates – particularly in business and engineering within Peterborough.

“Employers are setting very high standards and recruiting to exacting specifications so graduates need to invest time to ensure their CV stands out,” said Nel. “While the recent spike is encouraging, employers will only make offers of employment to those candidates who have gained the extra experience or skills.”