As today's world of work is much more precarious and uncertain, the concept of a 'job for life' and a secure, linear progression up the career ladder with a good pension at retirement is not something that can be relied upon.
Each of us needs to be flexible, realistic and open-minded in our outlook, ready to seek to gain experience and develop new skills and abilities so that we can build up a portfolio of desirable competencies - skills, knowledge, attributes and experience - which will make us attractive in a competitive marketplace. In other words, we need to learn how to become employable.
As Dr Peter Hawkins said:
"To be employed is to be at risk; to be employable is to be secure."
What is careers education?
Careers education is concerned with helping people to develop strategies which will help them to make informed career and life decisions. It is concerned with helping people to identify, develop and articulate the skills, qualifications, experiences, attributes and knowledge that will help them get where they want to be in life.
Careers education aims to equip individuals with the knowhow to manage their careers effectively throughout their lives, in response to internal and external change, personal growth and life events. It is based on critical self reflection and personal development planning.
The picture at Aberystwyth
The full range of services we offer is influenced and shaped by the range of careers guidance theories and models that are widely recognised within our profession. Tempered by years of practical experience and continuous professional development, our advisers remain current and contemporary in their delivery of career management skills and guidance.
At Aberystwyth, careers education is provided in several different ways in your department, including lectures, workshops, group work, one to one and tutorials. The Careers Service delivers a range of central workshops through the employability events programme. These are open to all and bookable through the careers website, in person or by phone - (01970) 622378.
In addition, most departments also have customised careers education lectures, workshops and other events, often embedded within academic modules and delivered by careers professionals. For postgraduates, there is a rolling programme of specialist workshops run within the Postgraduate Skills Training Programme.
Individual departments may also have further strategies for supporting you in planning for your future and developing your employability, such as specific skills, personal development modules and embedded work experience.
There are also several interactive e-learning modules on the Careers Service website, as well as several narrated PowerPoint presentations and video lectures, if you prefer to work independently, as well as a comprehensive set of advice and guidance leaflets and booklets (available online and in hard copy).
Last but not least, there is a programme of employer visits which complement the employability and careers education provision outlined above.
To further support your careers education learning, individual guidance and support is available through daily drop in sessions in the Students' Union, longer appointments (bookable through the Careers Service reception) and also CV clinics organised within specific departments and for postgraduates.