Careers service: Assisting English students in making the transition from higher education into employment

Employability & Enterprise

Project Description

University of Gloucestershire students participated in the English Subject Centre ‘English in the Workplace’ survey of 2002, which aimed to measure the contribution of an English degree to English graduates’ careers. This survey highlighted some of the particular needs of English students when making the transition from higher education into employment.  This grant from the Subject Centre will give us the resources to address these needs more specifically than we are currently able to do, enabling us to develop the careers section of the English Department’s ‘Only Connect’ website.  This site gives students studying English access to key resources to support their learning and its careers section is currently just a link to the Careers Centre website. This project extended this section to provide targeted careers resources too. Since the ‘Only Connect’ website is a location which Level 1 students of English will invariably visit early in their course, this has enabled us to:

  • Motivate and encourage students to start thinking about their career direction from Level 1
  • Inform students about the services available to them in the Careers Centre, especially individual guidance interviews
  • Introduce them to the key elements of the career planning process
  • Support career-related elements of Personal Development Planning
  • Provide links to relevant careers information sources
  • Encourage students to engage in opportunities for work-related learning – volunteering, work experience, internships – to enhance their employability
  • Provide case studies and statistics of the destinations of English graduates from the University of Gloucestershire, to inspire and inform current students about possible pathways to consider

This is one a series of projects. You can read about them all on the main project page.

Project report

Benefits to English students

The project aimed to enable students to make a more purposeful, confident and successful transition into work after graduation.

The 2002 survey revealed that English graduates would have particularly appreciated:

  • more information about potential careers available to them with an English degree
  • more easily accessible careers guidance
  • encouragement to undertake work placements to gain relevant work experience

Provision of easily accessible careers materials targeted at English students will address these needs, pointing students in the direction of key careers resources and prompting them to seek career guidance at an earlier stage in their university career than they are normally inclined to do. Students were encouraged to start investigating their future direction and to pursue opportunities for work experience to develop their transferable skills, make useful contacts and test out their career ideas.

The materials also promote the embedding of personal development planning into the English degree programme, providing a valuable resource for both personal tutors and students at Level 1 and beyond.

The proposal and its aims have the full support of the English Department.

Contact Details

Nicki Castello and Jane Turner
University of Gloucestershire