Students at the University of Pretoria (UP) are among the luckiest in South Africa, because UP is one of the continent’s top universities. But even with an internationally recognised degree behind your name when you graduate, you will still need more than a degree to get a job. The 21st-century work environment requires a much more multi-skilled and self-sufficient labour force. To be successful in their chosen occupations, graduates need skills that enhance their career and personal profiles, as well as skills that will boost their ability to contribute meaningfully to the workforce, the community, and the economy.
In addition to the skills and knowledge you will have gained during your time at UP, there are a number of additional steps you can take – which the University of Pretoria will help you with – which will make you even more of an asset to your future workplace.
Planning your career is an important step in growing a successful career. Within each field, there are numerous career paths or specialisations, and it is up to you to decide which route would fulfil your passion the best. In order to do this, you need to learn how to research your career and potential employers. Once you have an idea of what you’d like to do and where you’d like to work, you can start working on your CV, writing a cover letter and understanding the basic conditions of employment. Is your digital profile marketing your skills in the best way it could be? Can you write a report? Are you emotionally intelligent and mature? Are you able to cognitively process at a higher rate? Do you have financial skills? Are you a solutions architect?
You can learn all about this and more if you sign up for UP’s Ready For Work online course, which will give you all the skills you need to get your foot in the door, ace that interview, and get a job.
This work-readiness initiative, which consists of four short modules, is designed in conjunction with Enterprises UP, and is available on clickUP. The course helps students become more employment-ready, so that they can quickly integrate into the workplace with the necessary confidence, knowledge and skills, by being 'career-fit'.
Dr Elmarie Liebenberg, Deputy Director: Student Services at the University of Pretoria (UP), says there is a growing need for graduates to be work-ready when they are about to enter the job market for the first time. "Graduates should realise that a degree is no longer enough to guarantee you employment or a satisfying career. More and more companies are looking for work-ready graduates with job-specific skills – over and above academic qualifications – with which they can start making a difference."
Dr Liebenberg says the programme is free of charge to UP students, and is also available free to graduates for a period of two years after graduating. "The programme covers aspects of career planning, job preparation, workplace skills and personal development, and offers an excellent opportunity for students to acquire the necessary skills to get a foot in the employment door. We urge our students to enrol for this programme and, even more crucially, to complete the programme so that they can reap the benefits when they enter the workplace."
The programme consists of four packages: The career-planning package helps you to plan a successful career and enhance job satisfaction, select potential employers that fit your overall career goals, enhance your CV, and learn the basics of entering the workplace. This is followed by the job-preparation package, which focuses on setting up your digital profile and possible skills needed to seek job prospects, such as interview skills and writing winning cover letters.
The third package puts your workplace skills into practice by helping you follow instructions more accurately, making you aware of what is allowed in the workplace (and what is not), and also trains you in how to communicate professionally. Finally, the personal development package provides you with the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, focusing on emotional intelligence, stress management, and how to work with your personal finances.
Students can enrol for the Ready for Work programme via clickUP.