How to ensure your child’s employability

Group of students studying on laptops

COVID-19 has created challenging employment conditions all over the world.

Australian high school students working towards completing their ATAR are facing the first recession in 30 years.  As a result, both children and parents may be experiencing anxiety about future employment opportunities. This article provides guidance for parents and caregivers on the best ways to maximise future employability for high schoolers.

With coronavirus creating an uncertain global market and unemployment on the rise, knowing how to help your child with career planning has taken on new seriousness. While a great deal of uncertainty remains, there are ways to plan for the future and help insulate your child against upheaval in the job market. This is especially true if your child is interested in a high-paying occupation or wants a career suited to the future of work.

How to improve your child’s employability

Don’t worry if your child is feeling anxious about what the future holds. Murdoch offers a range of ways to support your child to help ensure they achieve their employment goals once they leave university. This focus on employability allows students to:

1. Help them prepare

If 2020 and 2021 has shown us anything, it’s that the world is unpredictable. This unpredictability can take away any feeling of safety and create anxiety – and when it comes to employability, confidence is key. To ensure your child feels optimistic about gaining employment it’s important to make them feel prepared. Help your child with their resume and go through some pointers for their first interview (even if it is over Zoom). By helping them prepare for these first essential steps needed for employment, they will feel more confident in navigating an uncertain job market.

2. Double down on qualifications  

Your child can take a double major so when they graduate they’ll receive a degree showing both majors. This can be done in the same time frame as a normal degree. As an alternative, and with a little extra time, taking a combined degree allows study for two different degrees at the same time. Personalising the course of study is a good way for your child to rise to the top of a candidate list by having multiple qualifications right out of university.

3. Obtain work experience  

Prior work experience can make a big difference to employability. This might include volunteer work or an internship, in addition to any part-time work your child maintained while studying during high school or university. Murdoch’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) philosophy also provides opportunity for students to gain work experience through a practical application of academic learning in the workplace. WIL is an explicit feature of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, providing an emphasis on student-centred learning in cooperation with industry.

4. Leverage career support services

Murdoch offers dedicated career and employability support services throughout your child’s time at uni and even after they’ve graduated. They benefit from expert advice on career planning and development and have access to numerous job finding resources. In addition, students can attend workshops, find a student or community support program, and access career help to boost employability. They can even gain real-world experience through a number of programs and industry-sponsored competitions. 

Why employability conversations with your teen are vital

While the Australian economy is faring better than most, no one knows how long the global recession will last. A year and a half ago, no one anticipated whole industries could be impacted by a global pandemic. Former sure bets for job availability like oil and gas, tourism and hospitality have been hit hard. Other industries are struggling to keep up with demand and are experiencing skills shortages, especially those in healthcare, technology and food. It might be time to reset your child’s expectations about what is a viable career choice in the coming decade.

Learn more about Murdoch University's Career and Employability services. 
Posted on:

20 Apr 2021

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