Graduates with disability and/or medical condition can sometimes have more difficulties making the transition from tertiary study to employment than graduates without disability. Competition for employment is high amongst graduates across Australia, so the need to prepare for employment while still studying is crucial for success.
Most tertiary providers have a careers service with counsellors to assist with career planning and job hunting. Careers services staff can assist you in developing a resume or curriculum vitae that outlines effectively your qualifications, skills, experience and abilities. They can also provide assistance in seeking employment vacancies and graduate employment programs.
As a student, there are a number of ways you can gain valuable experience and skills, learn about work environments, meet people and build a network:
- Working part time or casually
- Undertaking voluntary work
- Joining societies
- Being a member of student advisory committees
- Some courses of study may offer an opportunity to undertake practical work experience such as an internship or placement
- Involvement in mentoring programs such as the Willing and Able Mentoring Program (WAM) which pairs a student with a business professional over a specified period of time
- Undertake an internship, such as Stepping Into - a 4-week paid internship for students with disability/medical condition which is run during winter and summer breaks
- Participating in social networking sites designed specifically for business such as LinkedIn may help you develop your business network and increase your opportunities.
Note: not all these options are available in all locations or through all providers. Make an appointment with your providers career service to discuss what may be available to you.
The Graduate Destinations 2014 report showed a notable change in where graduates were employed over the last 12 years, showing that most graduates in full-time work at the time of survey had found employment in the private sector. However graduates who reported having a disability had low full-time employment figures (61.6 per cent).