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Student Futures

Degree Plus+ and Graduate Attributes

Making you future ready

Degree Plus+ - It all adds up

A very large number of students are now studying at university in the UK - and that means there is a lot of competition for you when you are applying for placements and jobs. Therefore you should get involved in activities that enhance your employability as early as possible, including in your first year.

Degree Plus+ is the Teesside University scheme that helps get you future ready. It promotes all the activities you can get involved with that help make you employable. Even if you only get involved in one or two activities for a few hours a week, you benefit by creating new networks, developing your confidence and other employability skills, and it gives you things to put on your CV.

Extra-curricular activity that can make you more employable

  • volunteering
  • becoming a student ambassador
  • being active in clubs and societies, or setting up a new one
  • taking responsibility within a Students' Union role such as ba course rep
  • experience as a pass leader
  • getting involved in employability activities on campus and attending events
  • enrolling on the new Employability Award Scheme
  • placements - for a full year, during the summer or more flexibly throughout the year
  • university internships and opportunities within the Students as Researchers Scheme
  • employer e-mentoring where we can connect you to employers who share your background and do the job that you might aspire to
  • meeting with Student Futures staff to help you understand the graduate job market and to get your CV in good shape.

Graduate attributes - what are employers looking for?

Graduate employers are looking for a lot these days from their new recruits.

In summary: knowledge, skills and experience; understanding of the job market you wish to go into; a high degree of motivation for that company and the role; and to demonstrate that you will be a good fit for their organisation.

During the selection process for placements and graduate roles they will be assessing a number of things, including the skills and competencies that are important to them. You will need to evidence how you meet, or exceed, their requirements. They will be testing what you have learned during your studies, how you have developed during your three or four years at university and how you can apply this learning to real-life situations. They will be assessing your behaviours, values and whether you will be a good fit in their teams. They will almost certainly expect you to have some kind of work experience and to be able to demonstrate how this has helped you to prepare for entry to a higher level role.

  • Knowledge: including knowledge of your subject, understanding how subject knowledge and expertise can be applied in a broader context and how learning can be transferred to new contexts eg understanding of global and ethical issues.
  • Self-awareness and knowledge of the graduate labour market: understanding your strengths and weaknesses, know what you have to offer employers and have a clear understanding of what is needed to enter and be successful in the career you are considering.
  • Skills and competencies: we will help you gain transferable skills and become confident, creative and critical, adaptable, articulate and aspiring. This is part of a larger and broader set of attributes that the University and employers consider important - ie teamwork, leadership, communication, enterprise, resilience, problem solving, emotional intelligence, cultural and global awareness, digital literacy, customer service and commercial awareness. There will also be other job and industry specific or technical skills that you will need to develop for some roles.
  • Behaviours: evidence of your conduct when putting your knowledge and skills into practice. You need to communicate your graduate skills, competencies and attributes to employers in CVs, applications and interviews.
  • Values: including honesty, integrity, respect for others, recognising difference, open mindedness.

What to do next

  • Talk to staff in the Student Futures team, Students' Union or Student & Library Services about the options listed above.
  • Look out for part-time jobs and internships.
  • Get involved early in your University life as you may not have as much time later on with your final year commitments of exams and your dissertation.
  • Think about how to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive market place.
  • Always review your CV and get help from Student Futures to improve it.
  • Get involved in activities that will develop your networks and confidence and of course have some fun along the way.