Careers for English Language Graduates by mrl19919


									Career Pathways for English
Language Graduates

     Liz Whitaker
     York St John University
     16th July 2008

   The 2nd year Language and Human
    Communication students at York St John
    University undertake a module ‘Language
    and Communication in the Workplace’. A
    three week work placement is an integral part
    of this module.
   On completion of the module, students are
    asked to submit an Action Plan indicating
    their next steps towards a working life.

   It was noticeable from the Action Plans
    submitted that, although students might be
    positive about their work experience and
    future career plans, they had little idea about
    how to put these plans into practice.
   The tutor for the module had been notified
    about the project funding from the English
    Subject Centre, a meeting was arranged and
   …………… enter Careers!!
   to give English Language students an overview of some of the
    career paths open to them
   to enable them to make an informed choice regarding their future
    professional development and effectively plan their careers from
    an early stage.
   to enhance their employability through prior knowledge of the
    additional skills, qualifications and experience they will need to
    be successful in their chosen career.
   to encourage them to make significant use of the Careers
    Service at York St John University
   to better prepare themselves during their time at university for the
    world of work.
   Years 1,2 and 3 current English Language and Linguistics York St John
    University students were given a short questionnaire. Out of
    approximately 60 students in each cohort, 36 first year, 41 second year
    and 29 final year students replied
   31 recent English Language York St John graduates and current
    students were interviewed on a one to one basis.
   18 Language and Linguistics York St John graduates from the 2005
    cohort and 31 Language and Linguistics York St John graduates from
    the 2006 cohort were sent a postal questionnaire. 11 graduates
   36 Institutions of HE in the UK were contacted regarding the
    destinations of their English Language/Linguistics students, 15 replied.
   Additionally 42 interviews were conducted with practitioners and course
    administrators/directors as part of the project, their comments have
    been included in the information given in each career pathway.

   An online and printed resource has been produced
    covering a total of twenty-three career pathways.
    For each pathway, a brief description is given plus,
    in most cases, a four step action plan:
   Step 1: Do Your Research;
   Step 2: Work Experience (by undertaking relevant
    work experience, students will, in many cases,
    enhance their chances of getting the job they want
    and/or successfully obtaining a place on an
    appropriate course);
   Step 3: Further Study and Training;
   Step 4: Finding Your First Job.
What Next?
   To improve contact with academic staff and provide careers
    sessions targeted at levels 1,2 and 3 English
    Language/Linguistics students.
   To ensure that English Language/Linguistics students know that
    they can book a one-to-one appointment with a Careers Adviser
    to discuss their career plans, with follow up appointments if
   To continue to research career pathways highlighted by English
    Language/Linguistics students and keep up-to-date with new
   To make the completed resource available to students of other
    disciplines as well as English Language/Linguistics students.
Project pluses!
   Good feedback from students/graduates so far on work in progress.
    Survey to be conducted in the Autumn term with final year YSJ English
    Language students.
   Excellent contacts were made with both practitioners and course
    directors/leaders. Some of whom offered to come and talk to the
    students at York St John University or attend events, such as
    information and recruitment fairs. On a number of occasions I received
    some really excellent feedback about York St John graduates.
   I thoroughly enjoyed researching this project and the completed
    resource should be valuable not only to English Language/Linguistics
    students but to students of other disciplines as well. My knowledge of
    the various occupations has really improved and this knowledge is now
    being passed onto students, graduates and colleagues
   Better links with academic staff.
   As a result of this project, a colleague in the Careers Service has been
    conducting research into the career aspirations of Counselling Studies
    students (a fantastic response from our graduates!)
Project minuses!

Main problem – time!

   Focus on a narrower range of occupations?
   Involve other careers staff?
   I really enjoyed the whole project, putting in
    the proposal, the research, the writing, the
    interviewing, the proofreading ………..

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