Students leaving school, colleges and university face one of the most important decisions of their lives, one that will impact their future employability; Career Capital. For those who are confident of their path, wanting to become a doctor, dentist, carpenter or simply to study music, the decision is much easier than for others.
Four clear paths lay ahead, go directly into full-time employment, pursue an apprenticeship, start a business or continue full-time studies at university. At Alexander Partners we take the view that whichever path is taken the decision must result from an extensive examination of each, because the final decision will have a significant impact on Career Capital.
Numerous factors need to be considered:
- The target career.
- Ones’ academic credentials to-date.
- Earning capacity, now and projected.
- Career prospects.
- The extent of competition in academia and the workplace.
- The personal financial cost, be it immediate or deferred.
Whilst thinking through these many considerations are a must, it should be remembered that no one option is forever binding and, mapping out a strategy to develop Career Capital is entirely individual.
Job Direct from School/College
Historically this has been the most prevalent choice, made by just over half of those finishing secondary education. Gaining a job directly from school or college is becoming more difficult because the number of careers requiring post-secondary level education continue to rise. Second, the dynamic workplace environment increasingly demands new skills and competencies and, the number of seemingly over qualified applicants’ show no sign of declining.
Apprenticeships have increased in popularity due to uncertain economic climate, lack of graduate jobs and the personal costs that students now carry when continuing their education at university. An Apprenticeship is a way of learning the skills necessary for a particular career while studying and earning a nominal amount.
Apprenticeships primarily focus on training for a particular job and are therefore more suited to jobs such as plumbing where the vast majority of the training can be delivered in the work environment. Apprenticeships range from a Traineeship through to Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, all of which usually involve some studies. Completing an apprenticeship does not guarantee full-time employment.
Attending university has traditionally been regarded as the most secure post-secondary education route to future career success. Whilst some university courses have become more vocational, university continues to have an education rather than a career focus. A degree will therefore equip the graduate to apply for a range of different careers.However, professional degrees for careers in medicine, technology and science continue to be a must. A degree does not guarantee full-time employment.
This step, whether direct from school, college or university, demands taking a hard and brutally honest look at self; at ones’ motivation. Is the drive to solve a new customer need or solve an existing need better than others? Are the inevitable long hours, the need to wear many hats and to carry sole responsibility wholly understood? The challenges are many and it is well established that only a minority of start-ups succeed.