Employability and how to attain itPosted: February 9, 2011
Employability is a word we hear an awful lot more these days. It’s a real 21st-century word, like tweeting and cappuccino. But what does it mean and how can the 21st-century graduate attain this exalted state?
One aspect of employability is ensuring that you have skills that match the demands of the job market. There is a dichotomy at the moment between the requirements of the labour market and the job-seeking labour force. Currently we know there are skills shortages in areas such as IT and financial services, and a demand for people with language skills. However there is an oversupply of construction and civil engineers, architects and lawyers.
In a recent post on the Hays Ireland blog, James Milligan suggests that a second European language should be given the same prominence in schools as Irish, because this will significantly increase long-term job opportunities. He also suggests that third level students who study courses with an internship could try and do this in a foreign speaking environment. Another suggestion is to study for a degree or masters related to the sectors where there are skills shortages.
In a recession employers are looking for employees who are flexible and have specific knowledge combinations, a few key ones being logistics and languages; marketing/sales and languages; finance and quantitative modelling; finance and law; statistics and software modelling; software architecture and business.
The recent jobs trend on gradireland.com supports this. During January this year there was an average of 155 graduate jobs each day on the site. IT jobs rose by 25 per cent and engineering (non-construction) by over 50 per cent during the month. One year ago the January 2010 daily jobs average was 95 so you can see that the jobs are there, and which sectors they are in – but looking at your skills and adding to them is the key to your employability in the current market.