STUDENTS dream of attending prestigious universities for many reasons. However, I personally believe that focusing on the skills you can acquire at a university is more important than chasing places at prestigious educational institutions. Of course, it is not entirely wrong to check university rankings. Yet, how important are these global rankings for students who want to get the best jobs after graduation?
Students should pay close attention to other considerations such as locations, courses offered, and the university’s relationship with industry, all of which are as important as ranking.
Even though location has not been a big issue during the Covid-19 pandemic due to the online mode of learning, the location in which we learn is something we need to consider. It’s more important than many think. Studying in a comfortable atmosphere, for example, can improve concentration and lead to more effective study sessions.
Likewise, the specific courses offered are also important. Studying is beneficial not only for academic advancement but also for personal development. Studying skills can help students gain confidence, competence and self-esteem. Learning such skills can help reduce the tension and anxiety associated with deadlines and exams. In the long term, productivity will increase, and these skill sets could enable them to perform a wider range of tasks, improve their ability to achieve their goals, and increase their ability to successfully respond to change.
Most importantly, collaborations with industry are essential to promote research and develop a skilled workforce. Through specific knowledge and hands-on training, industry gains job-ready people while universities take advantage of the opportunity to work on relevant technologies and research.
There are several things college students could do to get desirable jobs in top companies after graduating.
First, students should focus on developing transferable skills. Although a job applicant’s institutional choices can influence a company’s decision to hire them, some companies want to hire graduates with particular desired qualities. Some of the skills that many companies look for include leadership qualities, the ability to develop high-value relationships, the ability to collaborate successfully with colleagues, and business acumen.
These transferable skills can be learned both inside and outside of academia.
Soft skills such as communication, leadership, and teamwork can be learned through group projects and academic societies, while hard business skills are often learned through work placements and internships. .
Other companies might put more emphasis on their beliefs and behaviors, wanting graduates to study them and why they exist. Therefore, I recommend that students assess what they do both inside and outside of their university courses, as well as where and how they have developed skills like teamwork and collaboration.
Attending a highly ranked university can help students gain these vital skills and the best possible jobs. However, I believe that companies will not offer job opportunities based solely on the student’s choice of university.
Finally, as Robert Greene – American author of bestsellers such as The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War and The 50th Law – says “The future belongs to those who acquire more skills. and combine them in creative ways”. In other words, maybe we can read, but more importantly, what are our reading plans?
It is said that success is 20% skill and 80% strategy. Therefore, a winner is someone who identifies their God-given abilities, works tirelessly to develop them into skills, and then uses those skills to achieve their goals.
DR AHMAD FAIZUDDIN, School of Education and Modern Languages, College of Arts and Sciences Universiti Utara Malaysia