"As a student, I have my entire life ahead of me to start a career, so is there any reason for me to think about working whilst still in education"? The statistics show that the number of young people entertaining such thoughts or ideas has been steadily increasing over the last 20 years.
A study conducted by UKCES (the UK Commission for Employment and Skills) shows that college students aged 16-17 aren’t working nearly as much compared to their counterparts 24 years ago, decreasing from 42% of students in 1997 to only 18% of students in 2014 – but why is this the case? Well, 55% of young people said that they would rather focus on their studies than work, as well as lack of financial pressure and flexibility in working around education hours. But this isn’t the only issue standing in the way of students and their future careers, and they could in fact be hurting their chances later on by not having any appropriate work experience.
Getting an 'entry-level' post-grad job
In this current post-pandemic work environment, people are struggling more than ever to find work – whether that is people returning to work, or students and graduates looking to start their careers. A study ran on LinkedIn over 45 months between 2017 and 2021 showed that a shocking 35% of all ‘entry level’ job listings on the website required the candidate to have 3+ years of experience, increasing to 60.3% in the Software and IT Services sector.
So does the term entry-level mean something different to what it seems? Or are employers misleading graduates by giving them hope with the title and then crushing their dreams with the job requirements? Well, technically speaking when employers are advertising an entry-level role, what they are actually asking for is someone who can start doing the job immediately with little to no training.
How do I start my career?
I know you're probably thinking that this is a catch-22 situation - how can I get experience in the field of work if the entry-level position requires experience? Well, in some cases, 'experience' does not necessarily have to mean work experience - if you have recently graduated with a degree in Architecture, you most likely have 3+ years experience working with the processes, software and procedures used in that field of work. However, this doesn't mean that people who didn't go to university or graduate are out of luck when it comes to starting a new career, there are options out there including apprenticeships and internships; it's all about finding what is right for you.
The definition of 'entry-level' and the requirements will vary from job to job, but the key to success is being confident in yourself and your skills and, most importantly, portraying that through your CV so that you can land yourself an interview and get the chance to sell yourself to the employer. And if you think you need help writing your CV or reaching the interview stage, we're here to help - book a free consultation today and we can begin your journey to starting your dream career.
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