There’s more to investing in your child’s future than just a degree. Before choosing a higher education institution, explore what industry-ready and real-world experience will be offered to help make your child more employable, writes Naretha Pretorius, Campus Head at IIE-Vega School.
WATCH: IIE-Vega Postgraduate Discussion – Smart Thinkers
We raise our kids with such care. We work hard to get them through school, and ideally into higher education, in the hope that they will get a good job afterwards. We invest in their education – and consider it a future investment – something that will set them up for life.
And that is where we need to pause a little. An investment in their future. With any investment one would consider what exactly you are investing in. Before you invest, you will usually do research, ask questions, compare your options, and then carefully consider, before you commit. Higher education is obtaining a credible qualification that ultimately serves as a step into an industry of your choice. And with that, parents want to know that their kids will graduate being employable. So the big question is … what makes graduates employable?
Employability – what does it mean?
If you ask most HR or talent managers, team leaders and CEOs looking for future employees to join their team, they will most likely describe the ideal candidate using words such as “can-do” attitude, showing initiative, being pro-active, a problem-solver, confident presenter with computer efficiency. Descriptions in adverts will state that they are looking for someone with grit and agility, able to collaborate and work in a team, with excellent time management skills and able to work under pressure. Oh, and of course, to have a relevant degree or postgraduate degree, and a minimum of two years’ work experience. And that is where most graduates lose hope. They lack the experience.
The two critical factors
There are two critical things at play here: 1) Soft skills (and future skills), and 2) Experience. Soft skills such as grit, agility, and the ability to collaborate and solve problems are only truly learnt through application – you must do it, to master it. This, combined with the requirement of a minimum two years’ experience, suggests that gaining practical and relevant experience during your studies and even before you graduate, matters.
In other words, parents and learners need to ask higher education institutions of their choice, what industry-ready and real-world experience they will gain during their studies, as an integral component of the programme design and an institutional teaching methodology.
What do they do to ensure students gain relevant industry-based experience? What opportunities do students have to build their industry network? The ideal is a confident student graduating with a portfolio of work demonstrating industry relevant experience, applied soft skills (and future skills) with real-world and real-client projects they have worked on. Now that is a good investment – and the ticket to an employable future.
Upskill, to up your game
But now that you have a degree, why bother with a postgraduate? Postgraduate studies build on the foundation a degree provides, and the IIE’s-Vega School, develops students into smarter thinkers, for smarter doing, and with more resilience. An individual able to solve wicked problems through inter-disciplinary problem-solving skills, integrating models and theories to find smarter solutions. At IIE-Vega we believe in solving industry-relevant and real-world problems, applying global and best practice brand building models to socially relevant problems worth solving with creative and innovative solutions.
Employers and organisations love smart thinkers who can deal with complexity; contributors who can make a difference, while adding value. Then the logic is, for parents, to invest in higher education and consider postgraduate studies that produce smart thinkers, and smart doers, with a can-do attitude, and a real-world industry portfolio of work. The aim is to become industry and world fit. Not to always fit in, but rather to stand out, and thrive.
IIE-Vega School invites current final year students and degree graduates interested, to attend the postgraduate evening on November 3, 2022.