To help students develop the attributes of the Sheffield Graduate and prepare them for future employability, the University’s Strategic Plan establishes the principle of an institutional Employability Strategy ‘to be adapted by each Faculty to suit disciplinary contexts’. In addition to the Careers Service’s role in the delivery of the strategy, academic departments, Personal and Academic Support Tutors and Professional Services throughout the University can provide support for student employability.
You may find your department has specific priorities for employability, which is guided by discussion on the employability strategy. You should discuss the strategy and its implications with your department’s Careers Adviser. In conjunction with the Careers Adviser, the Careers Service can assist faculties and academic departments to develop strategies to address student employability initiatives.
Learn more about the range of support and guidance offered by the Careers Service to academic staff and students. The Careers Service also offers the Skills for Work Certificate to help students demonstrate their skills to potential employers. The certificate also counts towards the Sheffield Graduate Award.
One of our five-year strategic priorities is the “creation of an employability strategy by the University, to be adapted by each Faculty to suit disciplinary contexts, with an identifiable skills spine running through every programme.
Learning and Teaching Strategy, 2011-16
Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)
Personal tutors can use the HEAR in discussions about employability with students of all levels. This will allow tutors to help students in reviewing their progress and planning for their personal development. You can highlight the importance of gathering evidence of skills so that students can present themselves effectively to employers and others. In particular, you can help students in identifying how non-academic activities can also represent valuable experience and skills development as these can also be included as part of the HEAR.
Go to HEAR.
Steve Wise, Dr Julie Jones and Nicole Roughton, Department of Geography
The Department of Geography have produced a booklet around careers and employability to help their students to think about work experience, accreditation for skills development and job opportunities. The booklet sets out an 'Employability Pathway' for skills and careers development at different levels from entry to graduation, as well as a set of 'Graduate Skills Icons' which outline the skills that students of geography or environmental science will develop as part of their degree.
The booklet also includes:
- Advice on personal development planning (PDP) and how students can gain recognition of their skills
- A list of University services that can help students to develop their skills
- A list of work experience opportunities for students (both within the University and externally)
- Details of forthcoming University careers fairs and guidance events.
The Information School has produced a booklet entitled 'Selling Yourself in Interviews'. Linked to their BSc in Information Management, this booklet is organised around some of the key transferable skills that employers are looking for. It provides useful advice and examples to help students to articulate the skills they have developed throughout the programme when applying for jobs.
Dr Danielle Matthews, Department of Psychology
The Department of Psychology’s approach to employability includes careers events for psychology students designed in collaboration with the Careers Service, creating a careers module on MOLE, and building a Roadmap for Personal Tutorials identifying key time points where personal tutors should discuss employability one-on-one with their tutee.
Dr David McCallam, School of Modern Languages and Linguistics
The Modern Languages Careers Fair aims to initiate dialogue between students, alumni and employers and build awareness of potential opportunities in the current job market.
The Department of Biomedical Science’s approach to employability includes offering a Careers Development module (BMS227 - Career Development Skills). This 10-credit module includes writing applications, preparing for interviews and provides students with guidance on preparing a cover letter, curriculum vitae and personal statements. This module has also been adapted by the School of Mathematics and Statistics.
Finance and Law for Engineers
Linda Lewis, Management School
The Faculty of Engineering has worked in partnership with the Management School and the School of Law to develop a module in Finance and Law for Engineers. This provides engineering students with exposure to teaching from professionals in Management and Law disciplines. This teaches students to see things from a different viewpoint and introduces them to the language used by other professions, as well as covering important subject knowledge and skills.
The Management School also provides a module entitled Human Resources and Project Management for the Faculty of Engineering, which covers other areas of management that students will encounter upon graduation.
Building skills for success in the Department of Chemistry
The Department of Chemistry's Skills for Success Project (part of CHM3404) is built upon the philosophy that students should be able to customise their degree in order to develop the particular skills they need for their future be they communication, research, team work, project management, presentation, or any other combination of generic and transferable skills. Students compete for projects through an employment-style application requiring them to justify their choice of project as well as the reasons they are a suitable candidate. Available projects require group or individual work, and result in a variety of outputs including debating philosophical issues in chemistry, producing a radio show, reporting an experiment done in the kitchen, and producing a thematic poster for display. The Sheffield element of the Sheffield Graduate is seen in projects involving work in the department such as work experience as a technician or work about the department such as the production of a newsletter for the department. Following completion of the project work, students are required to write an essay reflecting on their experience and what they have learned in the project. The importance of this final element is such that it is worth 50% of the final mark.
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