Year after year decade after decade majority of students will probably have the same dream once they are finished with the educational system. Go to University work hard and get rewarded your starting dream job. From our parents’ generation to the current generation and probably to future ones, you a taught from a very young age that the education route is the way forward to being successful.  The routine is simple on paper and almost perfect. You go to primary school then high school, then university and after that you integrate into society as part of the workforce that drives many economies around the world. Yet over the years I have come to a realisation that the student dream rarely comes to fruition in the perfect way. What do I mean, one might ask? You see the stories all the time, simply pick up a newspaper or read one online. Students can’t find work is the general theme.

Having been a university student for the better part of my adult life I have noticed that there is a demand in the work place of people with work place skills and experience something that the average graduate will not have. Having a job whilst an university is not the easiest thing to balance and the average student will not be employed in the office rather the will be in the service industry which only develops your people skills in my opinion and not necessarily put you ahead of the other candidates. So we are already at a disadvantage.  I noticed each time I applied for a job there would be this requirement to have a minimum amount of experience. Which leads to a follow up question, where are we students supposed to gain that experience if no one is willing to give us shot?

Majority of the university experience is wonderful and much appreciated by those lucky to attend. The careers services are a welcome service that most will appreciate but there are times when I thought universities could do more to better prepare us for reality. It may not be enough to equip us with the requisite knowledge and would be beneficial if career guidance was part of the curriculum rather that an option.

There is a bit of fear of what next that I suspect most will feel when they do graduate. I know I had the same fear for a long time. Yes you have a piece of paper with and have specialised in your field with a first or, but unless you are in the medical profession and a few other select sectors you don’t really know what the world holds next where progression is concerned.  I graduated with a Law degree and a Masters in Law yet each time I finished there was this nagging question lingering in the back of my mind. What Next?  In my time in between those two qualifications it took me months and months of searching before getting a job, even then that job was not related to my field.

We tend to leave university with the perception that we shall have jobs waiting for us and it could be that we a still recovering from a recession but the truth remains everyday like many graduates we wake up look for jobs, send out CVs, spend hours researching companies and filling in applications only to get back auto generated emails from the infamous no-reply.recruitment@– accounts claiming that your application was not successful disheartening yes but it’s a little better that some companies where there is no response at all.

The sad reality is that for most students it takes a lot more time and experience to get into the jobs that we grow up believing we deserve or will get unless.  It may be that we now live in a time where the perfect graduate dream is dead as reality seems to slap you in the face the minute you get that degree on graduation. So, grab that paper and hold onto it as tight as you can and prepare for a dog fight but don’t be surprised when you spend months and months trying to crack the job market.