I haven’t had any experience of changing careers, let alone having one! – but something which does interest and affect me is the choices and changes that young people and students like myself have when thinking about career choices. Perhaps this could have been influenced during my first ever Psychology lecture, by having it drilled into us that degrees (And psychology ones especially!) are becoming more and more common; and that we will all face an increasingly competitive market for jobs when we graduate. It’s very true – and I was surprised when I found out how many of my University and work friends were getting involved in part-time internships and other CV-boosting activities to help them cut through the competition, and also importantly to widen application choices in a varied and inter-mingled work-market. (Where a relatively non-vocational course like Psychology can be combined and applied in so many areas!)
Obviously such speculation from a small-group into undergraduates’ work experience is un-proportionate and can’t be applied to all students, especially in my case; as only a small proportion of Psychology students eventually become Chartered Psychologists. (Prospects.ac.uk) … (Or as one rather uninspiring Graduate guide recently put it … ‘probably end up in Tesco with the rest of the Psychology graduates!’).
However, it would be interesting to see how important newly-released graduates see work-experience to be and perhaps how this relates to securing a career quicker, and also how work-experience is viewed at other Universities. This year there has been a 10% nation-wide increase in University Undergraduates, especially in courses involving Business, which further fuels the already competitive job market (BBC, 2008). But interestingly, The University of Surrey which is one of several Universities in the country to offer almost all of their courses with Professional work placements had a 40% rise in applications last year (More than any other).
Therefore do more students want more degree for their buck at a time when the jobs markets are so competitive? (Or possibly just stay a student and keep those irresistible discounts [especially during the recession] for that bit longer!).