It's a sad fact that the job market is becoming more and more competitive. With high unemployment and lots of people applying for the same role, it can be difficult to stand out as a candidate and land that dream job.
My passion is the world of film, television and new media and while I had previously worked as a wedding videographer, I wanted to improve my skills behind a camera and take it to the next level. I made the decision to study at university to improve my career prospects - I knew that a degree in a subject I enjoy would help me gain new skills and meet like-minded people.
How university, not just a degree, will help you
Firstly, it will open up so many career opportunities - with a degree, you are more qualified for certain roles and the experience you have gained at university will be very useful when writing your job application and talking about it at interview.
Secondly, the skills you learn during your degree will help you in the workplace. My experiences on my Media Arts degree taught me a huge range of creative skills that I have been using on a daily basis in my career! I've filmed videos, created adverts and even dabbled in web design...all skills I had previously used in my degree.
However, university is not just about your studies - I definitely recommend taking advantage of other opportunities outside of your course! I've talked about joining sports and societies and all of the benefits they can give you, but there is also a lot of opportunity for volunteering and part-time work.
The university has a Careers and Employability Service that run workshops to help you update your CV, test your interview skills and find part-time jobs that fit around your studies. One example of volunteering I did at university was working with the Devon Wildlife Trust and creating a video of one of their events!
You could also sign up to the Plymouth Award, which is an award that recognises your extra-curricular achievements outside of your studies. It's a great way to make yourself stand out on your CV and to show your future employers that you did more at university than just your course.
After your degree
But remember, your degree is never the end. You never stop learning! In this last year (and a bit) as a graduate, I have learnt so many new skills but also improved and refined my existing ones, gaining confidence in areas that I originally did not enjoy. Before the start of this year, I used to outsource my motion graphics work, but after several projects I have now got the confidence to animate my own videos and graphics.
The experience I gained in both my degree and in my graduate internship gave me the confidence and the skills I needed to land my new job - I am now a Production Adviser at the university, making high quality videos on a daily basis! If you're interested in reading more about my journey, check out my other blog posts or my alumni profile!
I hope my post has made you think about the career-related benefits a university degree can give you. If you have any questions, pop a comment below and I'll try my best to answer!