Show the Real Value of Your University Degree!

07/07/2013 20:26

The special time of university graduations ended not so long time ago and here we go, we have a bunch of fresh grads on the job market again. Employers are maybe ready for an increased interest from young job hunters, but ain’t no creating jobs for this purpose. And unfortunately summer time is not the best timing for job hunting at all, as many organizations slow down and their employees leave for annual vacations. So...good time to speak about the real value behind you university degree.

 

We have already talked about that. They tell you: ‘Do the degree, it will open you many doors!’ Well I don’t know which doors it will open for you, but it will certainly not get you the job. In order to get the job, you need to have clear, what is the real value behind your degree and why this should make you the perfect candidate for this and that vacancy.

 

Let’s start with the word ‘value’. What is actually a value? The term has several meanings – financial, mathematical, ethical... In this case, I would like to speak about the value which is pointing at a significance of something.

 

To be more specific, during your studies you definitely learned something (regardless of the quality of your institute). Similarly to those who already work and learn ‘on the job’ and ‘outside their job’, you also adhered certain knowledge and skills ‘on the degree’ and ‘outside the degree.

 

Starting with ‘on the degree’ knowledge, its content is pretty much determined by your particular degree and by the quality of your degree. For example, if you studied math, you have a good knowledge of math field. But that knowledge may not be the same as of your former classmate from high school who went to study the same topic elsewhere.

 

The quality of your degree can be dependent on a variety of factors: the frequency of your classes, the quality of your library, the amount of home works, the diversity of field work, interesting visiting professors…And all of these if presented well in front of an employer, show the real value behind your degree.

 

Here, only you are responsible for making yourself and all the others aware of how these factors add value to your degree and why is it you then, whom they should prefer to other candidates. So don’t forget to be enthusiastic about your own story ;).

 

Skills are a bit more complex, but they are important for you, especially because employers are very much worried about skills of fresh graduates. Here you have to spend some time with yourself and simply write down on a piece of paper, what kind of skills have you adhered on your degree.

 

When doing this exercise, try to be very specific. Let’s say, your professors asked you to present on a regular basis on your progress with thesis work. What kind of skills have you developed there? Skill to keep up with deadlines, probably time management, skill of being organized and presentation skills of course. And here you go, we have already a list of skills adding on value to your degree.

 

Now speaking about ‘outside the degree’ area, here you can really distinguish yourself from other candidates with similar curriculum as yours. Perhaps you did some extracurricular activities, like being a leader of Student Union. You learned how to develop complex agenda, worked on some interesting causes and developed skill of both, being a good team member and being a determined student leader. Such experience has a tremendous value for an employer and will help you to step out of the crowd of freshly graduated peers.

 

It is pretty simple. Remember, your degree should show the employer that you are worth their interest. It’s a piece of cake once you become aware of how your degree enriched your value on the job market ;-).

 

 

Cheers!

 

Petra

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