Transition to the world of work

The transition out to work is a critical moment in a student’s life

The transition marks the end of the formal, structured education that they have been a part of since the age of 5 and the removal of the relative security of institutional support systems.

As educators in universities our greatest hope is that we help our students negotiate successfully the transition into young adulthood, such that they are confident, independent, and critically engaged individuals ready to embrace the new challenges waiting in chosen careers.

We know from student feedback and employability statistics that the transition out to work is rarely straightforward; when confronted with the reality of entering the world of work, students are excited yet anxious and often struggle to articulate the ways in which their degrees make them employable.

As an institution we have tried hard to get students to understand their skills but the message is often unheard or forgotten. There is no doubt that a university education is extremely valuable – to students and employers alike – but it is valuable not for the final degree classification, but for the skills and knowledge it provides.

We still need to understand not only how to communicate the value of a degree to students, but also how to offer them the more personal support they require when facing this pivotal moment of transition.

The transition out to the world of work good practice guide provides student perspectives and highlights good practice to aid schools in evaluation and refresh of their current transitional support programme.