The 10 most popular Careers Group articles of 2015

Posted by Harry Picken on 11 January 2016

2015 was a busy year in higher education. It saw a higher education Green Paper, the proposal of a teaching excellence framework, and more students than ever seeking career advice from their university. But, let's not forget the hundreds of blogs published by The Careers Group for offering news and career advice for students, graduates, career centres and employers.

2015 also saw us launch a new-look blog platform where you can subscribe to email updates in addition to a new blog dedicated to graduate recruiters.

But which articles had you clicking the most? Here are the top 10 most-read of 2015.

Enjoy!

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Topics: Jobs and Internships, Peace, Politics and Policy, CVs and applications, Getting Experience, entrepreneurship

Shout Out to Post Docs

Posted by Fiona Richardson on 28 April 2015

A message from Yulia Kiseleva, PhD student at the Department of War Studies at King's

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Topics: Peace, Politics and Policy, Postgraduate study, Fairs and Events

Rock Physics and Scilly Birds: Exotic vacancies this week

Posted by careers consultant on 16 March 2015
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Topics: teaching, STEM, Jobs and Internships, Peace, Politics and Policy, charity, Working abroad, Postgraduate study, creative industries

Working in policy + internships!

Posted by IsabelFrazer on 12 March 2015

At King's this week, we hosted a panel event focusing on careers in policy and campaigning. For more information on this career area, visit our sister blog: Peace, Politics and Policy.

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Topics: Peace, Politics and Policy

PhD or no PhD, that is the question

Posted by Fiona Richardson on 19 January 2015

Before Christmas WWIP held a fascinating panel discussing a question many students grapple with - should they do a PhD or not?

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Topics: Peace, Politics and Policy, Postgraduate study

Employer Insights: Local and National Government

Posted by IsabelFrazer on 19 December 2014

We hosted professionals working in local and national government roles to offer students an insight into their careers, tips and advice. There are a huge variety of roles in this sector and careers can offer variety, challenges and the chance to see the difference your work makes on society.

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Topics: Peace, Politics and Policy

Skills for Global Work –Skills for Global Life?

Posted by careers consultant on 11 August 2014

Thanks to my colleague Helen West for sharing this interesting post....

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Topics: Peace, Politics and Policy, employability skills, Working abroad

The College of Europe

Posted by careers consultant on 4 July 2014

Late last year I attended a careers conference at the European Commission in Brussels. Many of the successful candidates I met mentioned they had done their Masters at The College of Europe.

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Topics: Peace, Politics and Policy, Postgraduate study

Top tips for choosing a Masters Course

Posted by careers consultant on 21 January 2014

Thanks to former colleague Andrew Falconer for this post.

There are thousands of postgraduate courses available – and that’s just in the UK. For those who wish to study more it can be quite a challenge to find the right course. Events such as the Postgraduate Study & MBA Fair which takes place at Senate House next Thursday 30th January, are brilliant for that initial bit of “shopping” – you can speak to representatives from many institutions, find out what is available and hear from experts on finding and applying for courses. So how do you get started? Here are my Top Tips:

1. Research or Taught?

A pretty fundamental question. If you passion is research then a Research degree, assessed entirely by an individual piece of work, may be right. However most graduates think of the Taught masters courses which combine lecture style teaching with, in some cases, independent research. Have a look at the Prospects website for more information.

2. Brand & Marketing

As somebody who is passionate about Landrover cars, it pains me to acknowledge that not all of them are good. Similarly with courses. It is easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that every course provided by a high ranking institution is going to be excellent. For some international students, brand is very important. They need an institution that will be recognised back home. Higher Education institutions spend a lot of money marketing themselves to prospective students. They want your money. Shop wisely and really consider if the course itself, rather than just the institution, will deliver what you want.

3. Ranking

As with Brand, students can become obsessed with ranking. And ranking is, after all, a good indicator. But it’s also good to understand what makes a high ranking. It may be that the criteria used in assessing the ranking excludes performance at post-graduate level. Also consider the ranking of the academic department, not just the institution. The new Research Excellence Framework could potentially change the rankings of a number of institutions. Ranking is important, but read between the lines.

4. Course content

Bizarrely, often overlooked by prospective students. Does the course teach you what you want to know? Again, here you need to drill down into the content of each module or course because module titles can be misleading. For example, a module on political theory may be just what you wanted, until you read further to find they specialise in Gender Theory, when you wanted Realism. The difficulty with this is that course content is subject to change and often come courses will not be taught because of staff changes or lack of student numbers.

5. Teaching

Another consideration is the style of teaching on offer. How many hours per week of “contact time” will you have with academic staff? How will you be assessed? How much support will be available to you? What are the research interests of the academic staff that will be teaching you?

6. Employability

If you are choosing further study to enhance your employability then you must consider whether the course will really do that. And again sometimes brand gets in the way here. A masters degree in Marketing from an Oxbridge college may be more theoretical than many employers would want. What level of employer involvement is there on the course? Is undertaking a placement experience important to you? Academic departments should have access to specific information about the percentages of their alumni in graduate level jobs – ask for it (and don’t be fobbed off with alumni case studies). This information can be hard for departments to produce, particularly with smaller courses, but they should have something. Remember, there are usually many alternative courses, often from lower-ranked institutions, that may have better industry links and higher graduate employment – but without the brand.

So….

Consider exactly what you need from a Masters programme. Use the critical awareness that you have learnt as an undergraduate to cut through the marketing and brand to identify the course that is right for you. There are lots of resources available through Careers Tagged and this short video should also be useful:

Andrew Falconer is Director of Careers & Employability with GSM London

The event in this post may have passed but I have left it on the blog for information.

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Topics: Peace, Politics and Policy, Postgraduate study

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