The labour market and postgraduate qualifications
In a recent Irish Times postgraduate study supplement, Brian Mooney wrote about how graduates are future-proofing their skillsets with a postgraduate qualification, while also making some interesting points about growing congruence between popular sectors of employment.
The article says that while many undergraduates are expecting to secure employment directly after graduation, they may be confronted with the fact that they do not have all the core skills needed for that particular role, or that others applying for the role have extra skills as a result of graduate study. A good postgraduate course will add a set of cross sectoral skills to complement a graduate CV and hence your employability.
The story also says that there is an increasing "confluence between sectors such as technology and engineering, for example, which were once considered to be unique in their own right. Tech now permeates almost all sectors of the economy, and similarly, strong business skills are relevant across many sectors. Accounting firms today don't only hire accountants-they are also on the look out for marketing, IT and engineering graduates."
In addition, those from humanities and media degrees (such as arts or journalism for example) are suitable for many firms seeking to expand and develop their vital online and social media presence. In addition, data analytics and some knowledge of how data can be interpreted and used is of particular use to companies across most sectors. If graduates can combine this with marketing savvy, preferably a postgrad marketing qualification, then they will have a particularly compelling CV.
For those with advanced tech skills, there are sizeable skills shortages for those familiar with coding languages like Java, .NET, Python, Ruby on Rails and Scala. These are particularly in demand skills at the moment, but any strong object coding skills are always a very strong asset. Postgrad conversion courses, postgrad certificates and Masters programmes are widely available, although the content is detailed, very technical and employers are expecting those coming to work in this sector to be ready to hit the ground running.
The financial technology sector, or Fintech, is another area which has undergone exponential growth over recent years with numerous opportunities for graduates within large financial institutions and smaller tech companies, who are seeking to expand in line with the constant development of Fintech in spaces such as payments and services.
The Irish Times article also emphasised the need for strong cross-sectoral skills too, with communication, critical and analytical thinking, creativity, project management, entrepreneurship, leadership and commercial acumen always in demand. The necessity of foreign language skills has also grown over the years, with those in demand including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Nordic languages and, as expected, a growing demand for Mandarin.
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