Employability and the ‘B word’



Interesting to read in the Times Higher what top university for employability Stanford’s careers experts say:

“It is important for students entering today’s workplace to connect with many different people, from a range of professions, in order to discover potential areas of interest and opportunities in fields that they may not have initially considered,” he says.

“A broad-based curriculum is certainly beneficial in helping students develop the combination of leadership skills, critical thinking skills and technical expertise needed to successfully navigate workplace and societal challenges and opportunities – while enabling them to find success not only in their careers, but in life more generally.”

Not many people would argue with that – I heard it at five top US Business Schools I met with last month.

Great of course to see King’s so well placed – number four in the UK; behind Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, and one slot above Manchester at number 23 in the whole wide world. Can’t argue with that.

Bush House

Of course that’s built on nearly a century and a half of tradition; great research, great teaching, great minds – and lots of astute investment and management too. but…

Let’s not forget another magic ingredient – we have an amazing brand. I know from my time at the British Council promoting UK culture, that the words “King’s” (Royalty) and “London” (consistently second only to New York as the world’s top city) are two of the most evocative and iconic words you can use in the same breath; talking to people in pretty much any country anywhere in the world.

And as the THE points out:

The paradox is that while employers in principle recognise that a degree from a top university is not necessarily indicative that a graduate has the “essential skills” for a professional environment (and conversely that a graduate who might prove a perfect fit for a job role will not necessarily have studied at a prestigious institution), many recruiters feel compelled to defer to university reputation or rank in the first instance as a way to select from large numbers of applicants.

One explanation for this is increasing international mobility. In 2014, for instance, there were more than 5 million internationally mobile students around the world, up from just over 2 million in 2000. As employers receive more international applications, it becomes ever more important for ambitious students to graduate from a university that has a “global brand”.

Brands matter; and we have a great one.

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