By Liem Ho
In today’s society, many high school graduates are seeking an education beyond the undergraduate level. In the past, simply graduating college with a bachelor’s degree was sufficient to secure a competitive job.
Today however, a majority of people who graduate high school continue on to finish bachelor program. This means that additional preparation must be done in order for a job applicant to distinguish themselves from a pool of potential employees and to experience success in today’s competitive job market.
Employers want to be able to hire workers and have them work for a company as soon as possible with minimal training. As a result, employers will seek job applicants with previous experiences and certain skill sets.
Completing a bachelor’s degree at a reputable university can give an applicant the knowledge needed for success in a certain job market. Meanwhile, research programs, internships, and work experiences allow an applicant to demonstrate their ability to apply the knowledge gained from courses they have enrolled in to a real life application.
Real life experience is not only attractive to employers since it demonstrates the usage of your education, but it also validates your skill set. For example, completing an internship at a well-known company, such as Microsoft or Google, can prove to future employers that you are capable of not only using cutting edge programming software, but also able to understand problem solving and algorithms necessary for designing computer programs.
Having spent a summer participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduates program and conducting your own research project on a stipend will communicate to employers and graduate school applicants that you are capable of conducting specific laboratory techniques, writing lab proposals, as well as independently managing your own research.
Unfortunately, obtaining internship or summer research positions is also a competitive application process. Applying for these positions also usually requires the completion of certain coursework, a high GPA, and some evidence of a skill set. Through discussion of volunteer experiences, prior work experiences and participation in clubs and on campus extracurricular activities, an applicant can show employers their own skill set.
Applying for an internship, research experience or job position can be extremely intimidating, and sometimes the amount of stress and pressure of the application process can result in a lack of motivation for completing an application. It is strongly encouraged that those who seek an internship or summer research position apply for multiple positions from different companies, businesses, or universities.
With more applications completed and sent out, an applicant increases the possibility of securing a position and a chance for a truly enlightening and rewarding experience. The time sacrificed and experience gained will prove rewarding when an applicant is able to obtain their ideal work position in a competitive job market.