Critical to differentiate oneself in job market

In an increasingly challenging job market it is important for students in all years of university education to reflect upon where they are going to do with their lives upon graduation.
The days when university graduates could immediately expect employment after graduating are long gone. A degree simply does not differentiate oneself in the labour market like it used to.

While there is still evidence that indicates those with a higher education are more likely to be employed upon graduation in comparison to those with only a high school education, the distinction is less clear among graduates with arts degrees, especially when it comes to employment within their field. A job delivering pizza is not on the radars of most.

Part of this can be attributed to a secondary school education system that pushes people towards undergraduate degrees regardless of a student’s abilities and a low grade threshold of acceptance by arts programs, thus diluting the value of the degree.

Even more so, there is a shrinking labour pool in society with more and more value being placed in the high tech sector and the trades.

Arts students need to confront the challenges they will have in differentiating themselves in the work force head on. This means shedding the notion that the degree is the be-all-and-end-all. It also means spending a little less time boozing it up and more time developing a skill set useful in the labour market and forming a network of contacts in your field of choice.

University offers tremendous opportunities if one has the determination to seek them out. You can network with people in your field, volunteer for different interest groups or clubs and learn relevant skills.

Arts students: you are not automatically destined to a life of flipping burgers or telemarketing. By seeking out opportunities to make yourself attractive in the current labour market, you can control your future.