Why we created gradireland Live! (and why we hope it will change careers fairs forever)

The impetus to create gradireland Live! came from our desire to confront some pretty fundamental challenges that students face in their graduate career decision-making process.

The world of work has changed but the language of careers has not.

The number of job titles and types these days is baffling to even the most experienced careers adviser. Students are peppered with data from all angles, but who is helping them process critical information when it comes to their career choices? Questions that students and graduates want answers to are most commonly:

  • What does a job involve in terms of actual tasks and skills?
  • Can I do that and would I enjoy it?
  • How do I get into that role?
  • Where can that career take me?

Employers want soft skills.

Students understand the concept of ‘employability’ – but they are frustrated by the failure of ‘the world of work’ (as they see it) to explain to them what precisely they want from graduates. Students are told to demonstrate innovation/creativity/teamwork/leadership and a host of other ‘soft skills’. Yet they are rarely if ever shown any direct correlation between these skills and the traditional job descriptions used by the majority of employers.

Why does picking a graduate career seem so daunting?

Whatever you read or watch about the future of work, one message comes across loud and clear – there are no more ‘jobs for life’, and the current (and future) generations of students will build their ever-changing careers around developing skills and lifelong learning. This message is not reassuring to the current crop of graduates. 61% of students in the most recent gradireland survey said they were worried about their future career, despite the reappearance of a booming labour market.

gradireland Live! provides answers and practical, hands-on guidance for Ireland’s third-level students. But importantly and uniquely, this event also coaches employers and postgraduate course providers on how to interact and engage with the talent they are seeking to attract; how to give them answers to the career questions they most want answered.

gradireland Live! is a career exploration zone. A place where skills, qualifications and experience can be linked directly to career paths, study opportunities and job outcomes. Where students can experience what innovation and creativity in a workplace setting actually entail. And where they can gain practical experience through workshops, mentoring, virtual reality and more.

gradireland Live! is the future of career events. We hope to see you there.

gradireland Live! takes place on Thursday 15 February in the RDS, Dublin, from noon to 6.30pm. Entry is FREE to pre-registered students and graduates, for full details and tickets visit live.gradireland.com

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