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Qualifications seen as irrelevant without real-world industry experience, according to report

A report has been released today that reveals that qualifications are being seen as irrelevant without real-world industry experience. The Australian Job Seeker Report by JobGetter found that Australian job seekers are increasingly seeing themselves as underprepared for the world of employment, especially those wanting full-time employment after studying. This year’s report provides an essential view into the job seeking market and is the only nation-wide report that focuses on the issues surrounding work from a job seeker’s perspective.


More than 38% of the job seekers surveyed were currently studying in some capacity, the majority of whom thought they were not being properly prepared for work. Whether currently studying or not, 65% of all respondents felt that their education did not provide them with the skills necessary to succeed in the work place. Of that number, 50% believed that their training lacked the skills or practical experience necessary to succeed in the workforce, whilst the remaining 50% thought that they were only partially prepared.


Fiona Anson, co-founder of JobGetter, said, “The results are shocking and highlight a critical need for Australian universities to address this challenge. We’re seeing people receiving more qualifications and investing more in formal education, yet employers are asking for greater real-world experience, suggesting a disconnect between what is being taught at educational institutions and the types of skills and knowledge that employers are privileging when hiring.”


Of all respondents, 19% expressed concern that they felt they would be lacking some skills necessary to get a job, whilst 14% said that they were concerned that they had no practical experience at all, with some (3.2%) even stating they felt that their studies had been “a complete waste of time.” JobGetter found that only 35% of those surveyed thought that their studies had totally prepared them for the job they wanted.


UTS is one example of an education faculty that is committed to producing highly employable graduates through practice-oriented education. All of UTS’ courses are expected to provide industry experience and/or work placements (both referred to as work-integrated learning). For example, JobGetter has partnered with UTS to help counteract the findings in the Job Seeker Report, by assisting in providing students of the Bachelor of Technology and Innovation with practice-oriented education. This semester, the partnership has seen students embark on a project titled ‘Data-driven Design Challenges’, using some of JobGetter’s extensive data set, allowing them to develop new concepts and ideas for services based on that data.


Natalia Nikolova, senior lecturer of UTS Business School, explained, commented, “Students now have the opportunity to work with real-world data and interact with a real client, learning a range of skills in this process: students learn how to analyse and interrogate the data to then develop new ideas and service concepts; they learn how to visualise and present complex data to a range of audiences. These are critical data analytics skills which are in extremely high demand right now. Students also develop skills such as problem solving, client management, teamwork, negotiation skills, communication and presentation.”


JobGetter also works with Economic Development Managers, Education and Training Providers and Business including Hunter TAFE, NSI TAFE, North Coast TAFE, EY, Deloitte, UTS and UCLA Anderson. 


For more information about JobGetter’s ground-breaking, up-and-coming services, please visit www.jobgetter.com.


Other key findings from The Australian Job Seeker Report by JobGetter included:


  • Only 5% of all job seekers surveyed stated they were looking to new industries because of technological changes making their previous jobs redundant, with 72% of respondents stating that they were comfortable with new technologies and were not overly concerned about the impact of automation on their jobs.
  • 59% of respondents stated that job flexibility was important to them, with a staggering 60% of respondents saying they have had to make compromises and forego a job they really wanted in order to get the flexibility they required.
  • When prioritising the most desirable job characteristics, respondents name location and salary most often, closely followed by work that was enjoyable, flexible and stable, with over 80% of all job seekers surveyed choosing at least two of these as their top two priorities.
  • 52% of respondents wanted better access to internships and real world experience to better prepare them for full time work and to make them more appealing to employers


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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