Developing Your Employability

Employability is about more than getting a job. Though for many a (well-paid and rewarding) job is the end goal, understanding employability will help you to develop resilience in a challenging and changing labour market.  

During your time at UCSD, you will be encouraged to explore employability in the context of your subject area and the wider labour market – both within and outside of your course.

We encourage all students to make the most of what is on offer, so that you are equipped with the relevant skills, knowledge and experience to support your career aspirations. 

Your course and employability

Your course will build your subject knowledge and expertise, offer you opportunities to put what you learn into practice, and gain work-related experience. 

Alongside specialist skills, your course will allow you to develop your transferable skills, such as written and verbal communication, problem-solving and critical thinking.  

The ways in which these skills are promoted (such as through reports, presentations and live projects) will depend on your course of study. Each course has developed and tailored activities in response to employer and sector feedback, to ensure that they are relevant to the graduate job market.

Did you know?

Recognising the transferable skills you gain as part of your course will help give you more freedom and flexibility when you make decisions about your career in the future.

You may have the opportunity to undertake work experience as part of your course. This could be through a clinical placement (for Health students), self-sourced volunteering placement or hours as part of a work-based learning module. 

Guest speakers such as former students and potential employers also play a part in helping you to develop your employability – sharing their experiences and offering insights into different career paths.  

Your Personal Tutor will encourage you to think about employability, including skills development and career planning through Tutorial. They can also offer advice, refer you to our Employability and Enterprise Co-ordinator and help you make the most of the opportunities available to you.

Employability outside your course 

A degree on its own isn’t enough to pave the way to a successful career and stand out in a competitive job market.  

Making the effort to evolve your skills and experience outside of your studies – whether through a part-time or casual job, voluntary work or something else – will help you demonstrate your suitability for a job.  

You might also use it to explore your subject in practice, make valuable connections and get a better idea of the type of work and environment that might suit you longer term.  

“I found it useful to get a part time job in the marine industry whilst studying. This allowed me to gain practical experience which is a major requirement for most jobs within the industry. The job also allowed me to make connections in the industry, which I use regularly.” Charles Archer, FdSc Marine Technologies graduate 

It’s never too early to start thinking about developing your employability. Here are some suggestions to get you started: 

  • Part-time or casual work 
  • Volunteer in the community 
  • Work for UCSD as a Student Ambassador 
  • Become a Course Rep and play a part in developing the student experience and curriculum, or put yourself forward for the role of Lead Student Rep and represent the views of students across UCSD 
  • Complete an online course – Future Learn offers a wide range of free online courses covering subjects from Business to IT, Health to Politics. If you are studying on a University of Plymouth approved programme, you also have access to LinkedIn Learning using your Plymouth login details. 

Get in touch for advice

You can seek friendly information and advice from our dedicated Employability and Enterprise Co-ordinator, who can help you: 

  • Update your CV and complete job applications 
  • Prepare for interviews 
  • Find a job and look for work experience 
  • Search for volunteering opportunities 
  • Explore your next steps and help you to identify any gaps in your skills and knowledge, with practical advice to help you move forward 
  • Consider how your studies and other activities are developing your skills 

Email [email protected] for more information.