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Improving Employability

  1. Jan 22, 2010 #1

    I'm a college student in the UK whose half-way through his Elec. Engineering degree. I quite enjoy my field and I get quite good grades (so far, I have scored first class in all of my courses except one.) and have a overall average of 82%.

    However, I'm quite worried about my prospects when I get out of college. I want to go to grad-school for maybe specialization in Control, but beyond that, what can I do to improve my employability?

    I have ZERO work experience, as I tend to focus on my studies for most of the time, and I know that employers look for past experience (and don't care what grades I got) and unfortunately I have none.

    In a nutshell, will I be completely screwed when I get out of college?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2010 #2
    Study finance, history, and philosophy, and don't think that school is the only place you can get educated.

    Seriously... The big problem that I think undergraduates make is being too career focused. Ironically being too career focused makes you less employable. The trouble is that if everyone is told to "wash widgets" then you'll have too many widget washers and too few widget washing jobs. If you have basic skills, then you can move to whatever the hot field is, and if you study some history, you'll be in a better position to know when to move in and move out.

    One thing that you have to realize is that there is only so much you can do. About 75% of what happens will depend on the general state of the world economy once you get out. If the economy is good, then you'll find a job. If the economy is bad, then you will indeed be screwed, but so will everyone else in the world.
  4. Jan 22, 2010 #3
    Yes, I know what you mean. I'm actually very passionate about Physics/Astronomy so I often study that during my spare time. I'm also an avid Astrophotographer... I just don't see how any of this would matter to an employer. Infact, some tell me that its a waste of time.

    Well, I do have 1.5 years to go + a year or two for grad-school, so I'm hoping the world-economy recovers.
  5. Jan 23, 2010 #4
    Use that to your advantage and get an paid/unpaid internship. It could also be a research position from a professor. Everyone wants free help from now and then, especially with this terrible economy.

    I don't know where you are going to look for work but don't bother looking for any in the U.S. for the next 2 years. Job growth is still in the negatives and majority of economists don't expect a full recovery until 2012.
  6. Jan 25, 2010 #5
    Top students are still being hired. Internships can be important, but for more technical roles they aren't always required. I would try to get a summer internship somewhere - the larger the company the better.

    It's not true that employers don't care about your grades. Employers care about your grades. At the same time, they don't like taking risks on new hires. Having high grades is a great way to show that you have the potential to be a very productive employee. Having an internship with a good review is a great way to show that you probably won't be a very unproductive employee and you might be able to translate your grades into practice.
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