The employability of our students is something that we’re particularly proud of in Cultural Studies & Humanities, but what do we mean by students being ‘employable’?. As Peter Hawkins has said “to be employed is to be at risk, to be employable is to be secure.” This captures what we’re trying to achieve for our students; helping them to fully understand their skills, experiences and potential to fully prepare them for future careers which may take them in unexpected directions.
The Employability Fortnight sessions, which were supported by two former History students, were intended to help current students with career planning. They focused on encouraging individuals to become more self-aware, actively recognise the skills they have gained from their History degree and any work experience they had, and highlight further opportunities to develop these attributes at Leeds Beckett. The sessions also emphasised the value of their History degree to graduate employers including the full-range of career possibilities open to them – with students creating a LinkedIn profile to help them with their career exploration.
Recent History graduates Samantha Mitchell, pursuing a career as a Human Resources Coordinator, and Cy Dalby, Graduate Software Engineer at Sky Betting & Gaming, provided students with invaluable advice and insight into the value of a History degree, and how to make the most of it. Both Cy and Samantha revealed how much their employers value the skills developed from their History degree, including critical reasoning and analytical skills, the capacity for solving problems and thinking creatively, and the ability to construct an argument and communicate findings in a clear and persuasive manner. The speakers finally described how they are using their History degree skills to forge their current career paths, in the process helping students to see the rich variety of opportunities available to them: particularly important given that 82% of graduate employers are open to recruits from any degree discipline.