What is Career Ahead?
It’s an employability award run by the University of Cumbria which enables you to develop your employability skills to get a good job when you graduate. You complete the award in your own time online through PebblePad, and it is a way to evidence your extra-curricular activity while at University.
Why should I complete the Career Ahead award?
Employers want graduates with good employability skills. They don’t just look at your degree; they want to find the candidate with the best skills for the job. According to High Flyers: “new graduates who’ve not had any work experience during their time at university have little or no chance of landing a well-paid job”. Career Ahead allows you to evidence the skills you already have, develop those skills that you want to develop, crate effective employability tools such as cv and cover letter writing skills, interview skills and allows access to free workshops, both face-to-face and online. In short, Career Ahead enables you to be job ready when you graduate.
So what do I have to do?
The award is broken down into three elements: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Bronze relates to personal development – completing a skills audit and a reflective diary to identify your career goals and skills gaps. Silver relates to skills development – you develop four employability skills, and undertake 100 hours of extra-curricular activity, as well as two online employability workshops. You also create a reflective diary of your progress in your web folio. Gold relates to career management and enables you to search for the job you want, create a targeted CV and cover letter or application form, and develop your web folio to evidence all your activity. Once you have completed and passed all 3 elements you will also have the chance to take part in a mock interview with an employer.
What workshops are available?
Some of the options include leadership, teambuilding, applications and CVs, interview skills, personal branding and mentoring.
What do I get at the end of the course?
Upon completion you will receive a University of Cumbria certificate, as well as having your web-folio evidencing your progress, skills and experience. Most importantly though you will have gained the skills you need to get the job you want!
Once you have completed the bronze silver and gold elements you can undertake the platinum award – you will complete and extra 50 hours of extra-curricular activity, mentor a bronze or silver student, as well as submitting a reflective diary of your progress. You will also get the chance to organise an event, share a skill, complete a placement or start up your own student enterprise!
If you would like to find out more you can take a look at the Career Ahead areas on Blackboard – the University’s BlackBoard site – click on Jobs & Careers at the top of the page when you log in, then click on the Career Ahead tab.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask advice, find out more and to register onto the award.