Tech students: Do more = Be different = Get hired

Strange things are happening in the world of recruiting placement and graduate Computer Science students. It’s generally agreed that there aren’t enough Computer Science related students being produced by UK universities to meet the demand employers have to recruit them. So employers can’t get enough of you. On the other hand the largest number of unfilled grad scheme vacancies (11.8%) in 2013/2014 were with IT and telecommunications employers*. Why were 1 in 10 vacancies left unfilled? Employers aren’t lowering their standards and they want something more from you as a Computer Science student.

What’s that something more? Two things specifically.

Firstly they are still looking for that golden combination of tech ability and the ability to work with others and communicate well. The stereotype of a nerdy uncommunicative computer science student who only works on their own is a myth and employers know that but they still want reassurance. And more than just your examples of working together on group projects in university. Everyone has that opportunity. Instead look at other ways to demonstrate your collaboration and communication skills. Volunteering opportunities like CodeClub and paid roles in initiatives like FunTech.co.uk are opportunities to teach technology to kids and are excellent ways to make yourself stand out from all the other computer scientists and pick up one of those 1 in 10 empty vacancies.

Secondly they are looking for computer science students that live and breathe technology. That means doing more than your degree. Are you entering hackathons? Are you coding in open source communities like GitHub and online collaborative games design communities like GameSalad.com? All activities that, incidentally, help you develop your collaboration and communication skills as well!

If either of these don’t quite match your own tech career ambitions there’s always tech volunteering opportunities via do-it.org where you can search for opportunities to volunteer in your area under the headings of “IT”, “Technology” and “Web development”.

Do more = Be different = Get hired.

*Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) Winter Survey 2014


The legal extra curricular activity that will genuinely make you stand out – the Model United Nations

Whether you’ve just started your LLB  or conversion GDL or are already a couple of years in to that LLB, you may have picked up the nagging suspicion that securing that 2:1 or 1st class Honours degree or distinction in your GDL is not going to be enough in today’s competitive legal recruitment market. And you’d be right. In fact you can read some articles here, here and here that directly address the issue of the role extra curricular activities (e.g. activities other than your course of study or work experience) can play in making you an attractive candidate to that Firm, Set of Chambers, in house Law function or Public Sector body.

It’s at this point I’d like to draw your attention to a one off opportunity that might fit neatly into your busy schedule and will allow you to demonstrate some of the essential skills required of a lawyer. It’s called the Model United Nations and there is one taking place in Reading from Friday through to Sunday, November 27th to 29th.

What is the Model United Nations? It’s an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about civics, current events, effective communication, globalization and multilateral diplomacy. In standard Model UN, students take on roles as diplomats and participate in a simulated session of an intergovernmental organization (IGO). Participants research a country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems. More recently, simulation of other deliberative bodies, such as the United States National Security Council, has been included in Model United Nations, even if they are completely unrelated to the UN or international affairs as a whole.

During a conference, participants must employ a variety of communication and critical thinking skills in order to represent the policies of their country. These skills can include public speaking, group communication, research, policy analysis, active listening, negotiating, conflict resolution, note taking, and technical writing.

Delegate Registration is open now.


How to Fast Track your Career – First Steps for first year Arts and Social Science students

Ant portrait

Hi and Welcome to City University!

I’m the Careers Consultant that works particularly with Arts and Social Science students,  although I see all students. I gave lots of talks about CityCareers during Induction Week, so hopefully, you will know about us and how you can  use the service to get into the career you want by the time you graduate! But actually, as many arts and social science degrees aren’t very vocational, (unlike subjects like Business, Law & Engineering)  too often, students do not know the full range of  careers that are open to them at the end of their  degree. And in fact, most careers are open to you!   In reality, Arts and Social Science students too often postpone exploring their ideas and don’t visit CityCareers till the last minute in year 3. Often, they also don’t attend the many events we hold on campus where you can find out about different careers and employers to help you to make up your mind. Third year is the worst time to be making basic careers enquiries, because it is a very busy year academically. It’s also a time to be making job applications, often early on in Term 1! So follow these top tips if to avoid graduating into volunteering or continuing with your student job…. Continue Reading