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Graduate employment with a degree that matters

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24 January 2020

At Harper Adams, we are keen for our students to get out into the working world and put the theory from the classroom into practice. We value work experience as a necessary part of education to highlight understanding and solidify learning. This is why our degrees include a placement year, giving students the opportunity to try new ideas and learn from their mistakes to go into their field of employment prepared and knowledgeable.

However, there are a growing number of students across the country that are deemed 'not work place ready'. Employers feel that the skills students are equipped with within higher education don't translate across from student to employee. The Pearson Business School survey reveals that nearly one in five graduates are not viewed as ready for work, lacking negotiation, leadership, strategy and planning skills. So how can we change this?

While learning key information from your degree is vital, additional skills learnt along the way can prepare students even further for life outside of university. We incorporate extra-curricular activities, seeking to develop vital business skills with outside organisations such as The Negotiation Club. Further, our student ambassadors work to lead and organise a variety of Open Day events include campus tours and presentations. We also have students like Elise Sutton who, on placement, strategised a plan to help the repopulate of endangered longhorn cattle, leading surveys and development plans. These opportunities are open to all students, largely through our annual Careers Fair which enables students to network and reach out to companies for placement and graduate roles. We value these connections as great opportunities for our students to thrive outside of campus as much as they do within.

As a result of this extracurricular work, students are more industry ready at Harper Adams. Ian Harrison, HR Manager at Rail-Ability explained that "Harper Adams students are a year ahead of anyone else we talk to about placements ... there is no university in the country that produces students better for us." This we know to be true as 97.2% of our graduates are employed within six months. Establishing these industry connections gives our students the skills they need to be successful as well as a degree that matters.

A recorded 13% of students are identified as ready to hit the ground running when it comes to work and we certainly hope our students are part of this figure. To read more about the success of our graduates, click here.

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