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Making employability a priority when choosing where to study

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 23 AUGUST 2012

Students looking to start a University course this September are being encouraged to think about their career aspirations and where they hope their studies will take them.

At Birmingham City University, providing students with the employability skills they need to hit the ground running in the workplace is a priority.

Richard Siddall-Jones secured a job in the music industry upon graduating from Birmingham City University’s School of Digital Media Technology in 2009 where he studied Music Technology. “My main reason for choosing BCU was because the facilities were really impressive. The teaching I received was great and the lecturers shared a huge passion and enthusiasm for their specialist fields.

“After completing a 12 month internship at music giant EMI – home to acts as diverse as The Beatles and Tinie Tempah – as a placement year while at the University, I then went on to secure a full-time Digital Development Manager role with EMI when I graduated.”

The career relevance of James Farmer’s BSc ICT degree from the University’s School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks also gave him a competitive edge when it came to securing a position after graduation.

James now works as an Infrastructure Engineer for leading defense company Lockheed Martin, a leader in systems integration, and finds that the skills and additional qualifications he acquired at the University relate directly to his role.

“The course content of my degree and the availability of additional qualifications that are recognised by the industry helped me get my job.”

Sally Westney, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, said employability is at the top of the agenda for the University – with the student experience geared up to producing graduates with the skills, confidence and hands-on experience that makes them immediately ready for the modern workplace.

To underpin this commitment BCU has recently launched a ‘Career KickStart’ employability scheme. Accompanied with online video guides backed by The Guardian, careers experts and employers have been offering advice to students on interview scenarios and job searching techniques to assist them in securing work in their desired field upon completion of their studies.

As a result of these pioneering initiatives the University has experienced an increase in the number of students going into graduate-level employment soon after completing their studies.

“Despite the challenging economic conditions, Birmingham City University is clearly producing skilled graduates who are sought after by employers,” said Sally Westney.

“Our most recent employability figures are very positive and reflect the fact that the University is a preferred supplier of graduate talent by a growing list of top companies, including big names like Jaguar Land Rover, Next and PricewaterhouseCoopers.”

For more information on available courses starting this September at Birmingham City University, call 0121 331 6777 or visit www.bcu.ac.uk/clearing.

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