What Do Employers Value the Most From Graduates?

Most students go to university and complete a degree with the mindset that it will help them get a good job once they have graduated. With university tuition fees being at an all time high, especially for international students, it’s never been more important to choose the right university course for you. Finding a course that will enable you to then build a successful career is important but there are lot of factors to consider.
It’s useful to take into consideration what employers value when looking to hire recent graduates.

Desirable Course Subjects

If you’ve ever wondered which course subjects are most likely to land you a job after graduation, you’re in luck.
According to the QS Global Employer Survey 2016, the top five disciplines employers recruit from are:

  1. Computer Science and Information Systems
  2. Business and Management Studies
  3. Accountancy and Finance
  4. Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  5. Economics and Econometrics

Now, there’s no need to panic if you’re considering studying something outside of these disciplines. Just because these are the top areas in which employers recruit from, doesn’t mean you have to study one of these subjects to get a job after university. The survey’s results are also dependent on the kind of employers responding to the survey. So this won’t give you the full picture.

Desirable Skills

More and more employers are looking at a graduate’s skill set rather than simply the course they have studied. Employers are increasingly looking for “well-rounded” applicants that combine strong academic skills with what they call “soft skills.” These can be things such as time management, organisational skills, good communication and adaptability.
Theresa McHenry, human resources director at Microsoft UK told The Telegraph:
“We are after people with a can-do attitude, enthusiasm, interpersonal skills and the drive and ambition to make an impact. Softer skills such as collaboration are also valued, especially as employees often have to work with a variety of people outside their immediate team. For us, it’s less about what you’ve studied and more about why you want to work for us and what you can bring.”
According to the Future of Jobs Report by World Economic Forum has revealed the top 10 skills employers will be looking for in graduates in 2020:

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People management
  5. Coordinating with others
  6. Emotional intelligence
  7. Judgement and decision making
  8. Service orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive flexibility

By demonstrating that you have at least some of these skills you’ll make yourself more attractive to a potential employer and you’re more likely to get a job after graduation.

Making a decision about your education

It can be a difficult decision to choose the perfect course for you at the right university. Our advice is to start off with a subject that you are interested in and passionate about. If you know what you want to do for your career then that will inform your chosen course and will give you at least some indication of what you need to study. Speaking to one of our consultants here at IEC Abroad and discussing your options can really help. If you need help making a decision, contact us today for expert guidance from international study abroad specialists.
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