Just because university is wrapping up for the semester doesn’t mean you can’t use your time-off productively. Working from the assumption that the main reason you’re at university is to start your career, there are plenty of things you can do right now to boost your employability. After all – employers aren’t just interested in your transcript. They want the whole package. By undertaking a few extra courses and workshops you can make yourself the most well-rounded applicant out there.
Upskill yourself with Generation Governance
Generation Governance is an online course designed to enhance your leadership and governance skills. While the program is predominantly aimed at those who are thinking of joining a club, society or student organisation, it provides plenty of other useful skills applicable to the workforce.
The self-paced program consists of five modules, each relating to a different governance concept. These include writing a constitution, preparing an agenda and meeting minutes, event planning, assessing risk and managing finances.
Learning these concepts develops your organisational skills, making you a more valued member of the workforce.
Best of all, the program is entirely free, and once completed you receive a personalised Certificate of Completion.
Broaden your knowledge using Lynda
Lynda is basically an online classroom, with 6,215 courses covering topics such as photography, software development, business, design, web development and other creative skills.
What distinguishes these videos from similar things you may find on YouTube is that they are conducted by recognised industry experts. One example is Ben Long who runs a large number of the photography videos, is an award-winning photographer and Senior Editor at Macworld.
By accessing Lynda, you are able to complement the skills learnt in your degree or fill-in any gaps in your knowledge. For example, if you’re studying a Business degree, it may be useful to learn some media production skills as marketing is becoming increasingly digitalised.
Make sure to check with your Course Coordinator, as many courses at UON allow free access to the videos on Lynda. Otherwise, it is a subscription service.
Learn another language via Duolingo
Chances are you studied a language in high school and then never pursued it again, save for the occasional bonjour and ciao when travelling abroad.
The thing is, having a working knowledge of another language greatly enhances your employability. Not only do employers value those with international communication skills, you’re also opening yourself up to whole other job markets.
But while many of us entertain the idea of learning another language, sometimes they just don’t fit into our degree structure.
Duolingo is a free app that makes learning a new language a breeze. With more than twenty different languages on offer, you’re spoilt for choice.
Acknowledging that it can be difficult to stay motivated when studying online, Duolingo strives to make the process as fun as possible. It takes on a game format, earning points for correct answers and race-against-the-clock type scenarios. While I was dubious about the effectiveness of this app, an independent study revealed users of the app had a significant improvement in their language abilities.
If you’re keener on face-to-face study, the Confucius Institute at UON has been offering courses in Chinese since 2011.
Deputy Director of the Confucius Institute, Jonathan Yi, says those who learn another language are far more adapted to working in the 21st century global job market.
“Nobody could say they wouldn’t recommend studying another language,” he said.
“When someone understands two languages and therefore two cultures, the person who doesn’t is ultimately going to fall behind.”
So what are you waiting for? Time to get cracking on those language skills.