With the job market being the most competitive in years due to the impact of Covid-19, staying on in education has been identified as a good way to ‘ride out the storm’.

As we currently find ourselves in unprecedented times, you may be feeling, daunted, anxious, or uncertain about what returning to university in September/October will look like.

Universities UK report that the health and safety of students, staff, visitors and the community will be the main priority in the process of reopening universities across the country.

So what can you expect to change?

Universities will be making a whole host of changes relating to the day-to-day running of each institution. This may include aspects such as layout, the delivery of teaching and learning and the way in which assessments will take place. There will no doubt be a focus around virtual learning and may now pave the way for the future of universities going forward. The best way to find out what changes may affect your learning is by visiting your university website.

What can you do to gain further experience?

Despite the impact of Covid-19 it is important to still explore opportunities that will expand your work experience and those all-important transferable skills that employers look for. Alongside completing a degree, university presents the perfect chance to take part in extra-curricular activities, and you can put these on your CV and use them to demonstrate your skills and personal strengths.

  • Joining sports teams / societies

    Alongside the social aspect, joining a sports team is beneficial in demonstrating your teamwork, motivation and communication skills. Joining a subject based society provides a great way to network and gain contacts, alongside demonstrating skills such as time-management and openness to further expanding your knowledge in the given subject

  • Volunteering

    Volunteering is a great way to experience helping others, it shows employers you are passionate, eager to gain experience and are dedicated in giving back to the community.

  • Part-time work

    Alongside allowing you to earn money, a part-time job can give you valuable work experience. Be it working in a café, a clothes shop, a supermarket or a cleaner, all experience is good experience in the eyes of employers.

  • An industrial placement

     An industrial placement is typically available to most university students and involves taking a year out of studying to experience 12 months working in industry. The benefits of opting into taking a placement year include gaining experience within a specific field of work relevant to your degree, encountering the interviewing process, gaining an insight into the working world and having the chance to network with professionals who may be able to provide job opportunities in the future. Even better, most undergraduate placements are paid, with RateMyPlacement reporting an average salary of £16,907 in 2019.

  • An internship

    If a placement is not part of your degree, you also have the option to explore seasonal internships. Essentially, these will provide you with similar work experience to an industrial placement, with the difference being experience outside of university term time, in your holidays. Visit our page all about internships to find out more.

Looking into the future, it is important to also look at the opportunities that are available after you graduate from your degree. These include but are not limited to a postgraduate degree, a graduate job, a graduate apprenticeship and more.

If you are looking wanting to find more information on support available near you visit our page dedicated to Finding Help In Your Local Area.