4 skills graduates need to get a job post COVID-19

13 July 2020
When the crisis passes, what essential skills will students need to earn a job and keep it?
Our Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence AC, shares his thoughts on the skills that graduates need to be successful.

When the University embarked on reimagining our undergraduate offerings, there was always one question that we kept in mind throughout – what skills will our students need to be highly employable? It became apparent the answer centred around one main theme – adaptability. 

1. Deep immersion in a discipline

students working together
You can become a subject matter expert through deep understanding of a particular topic. This immersive approach helps to improve your written and verbal communication. In turn, having the ability to express your knowledge clearly means you can inspire and motivate others, which is a critical skill. We are really proud to be ranked highly in so many subject areas, giving our students what we call a T-shaped education – both broad and deep knowledge.


2. A multidisciplinary perspective

Future employment will hinge on the ability to work collaboratively with people from a range of fields. Certainly, people from different disciplines can offer fresh perspectives on problem solving and look at these issues from many different angles. Our multidisciplinary approach means undergraduate students can take second majors from 100 areas across the University, giving them the insight and viewpoints they need to thrive in a more collaborative employment landscape.


3. International understanding

Understanding the cultural reference points of other people has never been more important and we hope our students will graduate with a truly global perspective. Cultural competence has been built into our core teaching at Sydney, to give students of any discipline cross-cultural understanding. When it is safe to do so, we also encourage our students to study overseas. It is a truly enriching experience.


4. Real-world problem solving

Higher education is so much more than theory. Solving real-world problems and applying knowledge practically are essential skills for any job. Our industry and community projects provide students with the opportunity to do this, working with interdisciplinary teams on authentic problems set out by industry, community and government organisations. These projects give them valuable career experience and boost their employability.


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