The traditional University model has come under fire in recent weeks, with many believing students are not being prepared appropriately for the job market. To overcome this issue, many academic institutions are considering new learning platforms. At Ducere, we have a strong belief that blended learning – where a course is delivered online and in person – provides today’s students with an educational experience relevant to today’s industries.
Earlier this week, this article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, criticising Australian Universities for neglecting to give students the skills and experience necessary to find employment. But the reality is that those who pursue further education are likely to accumulate more wealth than their counterparts. While the exact figure is hotly contested, the average University student earns at least 37 percent more.
So is further study the key to a successful career or are Universities simply churning out unemployable students?
The answer, it seems, lies with the student themselves. To discuss this, we will consider what we call “work-readiness”.
Work-readiness is the grey area between a theoretical education and a practical one. It comprises all the real-world skills and experiences necessary to turn a formally educated student into an employable one. Students that successfully negotiate the middle ground between study and job-land will find themselves in high demand.
So what skills make a student work-ready?
- Professional communication
- Self discipline
- Networking skills and industry contacts
- Learning the relevant skills and latest technology needed to progress further in an industry.
- The ability to work productively in a professional environment
At Ducere, we flip the traditional model and prioritise work-readiness over education. While we believe formal education is critical, we understand that it should come second to gaining a foothold in industry education.
How do we do this?
Our courses are delivered online and are all self-paced. This gives students the opportunity to prioritise their work commitments over study, which should be the goal.
However, students studying full-time at University run the risk of failing courses if they want to focus on gaining more industry exposure.
Imagine starting a semester in a University course. Then, mid-way through, an opportunity comes up on LinkedIn to learn some great industry skills in a full-time position. But you have already passed the census date and will fail your course if you take up the job, leaving a black mark on your transcript.
Unrealistic? Think again. Being approached on LinkedIn is a reality of today’s job market and companies no longer wait for you.
The job market has become so competitive that there are no assurances graduates will walk into a position. Just look at law students, 10 years ago they would have been almost guaranteed a job after University, but now we’re seeing law graduates in oversupply.
Demand changes so quickly that getting a foot in the door early could be crucial to securing your career – and for many, that will mean getting industry experience while studying.
Ducere students can take the opportunities presented to them.
Meanwhile, the blended learning aspect of Ducere’s courses help students gets the benefits of further education that employers want. For example, our MBA students have numerous networking events, as do our Bachelor’s students. Meanwhile, those studying a Diploma have trainers that essentially act as mentors to help students understand difficult topics and complete assignments.
This is all designed to help students graduate with a solid understanding of the subject matter, so they can walk into a job interview feeling confident that the theory passed on by our Global Leaders Faculty will hold them in good stead during their chosen career.
By Ryan Thompson
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Ducere Education