You go to uni for a lot of reasons – to follow your passion, to experience student life and, of course, to gain the knowledge and skills you need to launch your career when you graduate.
There are almost too many things to consider in a uni when the goal is to prepare for your future career. But fear not. We’ve got five expert tips for finding a uni that allows you to dream big and make a difference while setting you up for a satisfying and prosperous career.
1. Reality check – real connections with the real world
The world is changing at a rapid pace. The skills that were sought after two years ago may not even be necessary in five years’ time, while today’s graduates are likely to have several jobs by the time they hit 30. Choosing a university that has close relationships with diverse industry partners means you’re more likely to get relevant education for a lifetime of careers. The best universities tend to partner with industry to build their courses. Make sure yours does, too.
2. Work, work, work, work, work
Your uni’s deep relationships with industry should also translate into work experience and internship opportunities for you – this is accent when you look for that first job after graduation. This practical experience will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your area of study and make you adapt to change more easily. It also means you’ll get access to valuable hands-on learning and hone your soft skills – teamwork, flexibility, leadership and communication skills – that will be in demand throughout your career.
3. Find facilities that facilitate your learning
Connections with companies also mean the university will have a teaching philosophy that is focused on practical learning and will provide facilities that are similar to what you’d find in a professional working environment. So look for a uni that continually invests in its facilities and infrastructure.
For example, if you’re studying for a health, medical or psychology degree, a uni that offers on-campus medical and other specialist health services is a good choice. If you’re into cyber security, then learning in specialist labs from actual industry professionals on the frontline of research against cybercrime will ensure you stay super relevant. Similarly, media students with access to the same technologies used by leading media organisations will stand out from their competitors, while students with an entrepreneurial bent should look for on-campus business incubators to gain exposure to new ideas and start-up opportunities.
4. Mix study with pleasure
To feed your curiosity while preparing to launch your career, consider a uni that offers a flexible degree structure. This allows you to balance passion with getting skills in your areas of your choice.
Double degrees can save you both time and money, increase your career flexibility and lead to greater employment opportunities. You can study different subjects in depth and explore issues from multiple perspectives. Similarly, you can carve a niche all of your own by choosing single degrees where you can take on electives from different areas of study, transforming you into a more well-rounded candidate. If you’re clear about what subject area makes you tick, then a combined bachelor and master degree is another option worth considering. This allows you to fast-track your learning while gaining deeper knowledge of a particular area, which will strengthen your appeal to future employers.
5. Love local, but definitely think global
Let’s face it – Australia is awesome, and you can have a perfectly healthy life here. But the world is more connected than ever, and we’re affected by what’s happening on the other side of the world (climate change, anyone?) in all sorts of unexpected ways. Whether you’re looking for practical experiences overseas or at working in a local business that has an international outlook, it’s well worth investigating which uni programs can help you get that global pedigree. Look for leadership development programs, international exchange opportunities and scholarship programs that broaden your horizons.
Want to see a university with it all? Register for Macquarie University’s Open Day and find out how you will multiply your potential with industry connections, opportunities for learning practical skills, innovative degrees, cutting-edge facilities and global programs.
Macquarie University Open Day is on Saturday 17 August, from 10am to 3pm.