New subject has students career-ready

SDU is the first university in Denmark to make career planning a subject offered in several education programmes. The initiative has proven a success

By Kathrine Højte Lynggaard,, 11.02. 2016 

Since autumn 2014, students from five different Master’s degree programmes have had the opportunity to take classes on how to shape their careers.

The initiative is part of the university's wider objective to prime students for the labour market.

The initiative has also been welcomed by students, programme managers and the companies that have agreed to work together with students.

- Students expressed that they felt more prepared to apply for jobs. The programme managers believe that this has improved the programmes and the companies say that they are benefiting from the collaboration, says career adviser and career planning teacher Kim B. Hansen.

A subject that ties in with reality

The name of the subject is Career Management Skills and it has between three and seven in-class meetings lasting three hours. The class gives students a variety of tasks and exercises that they must go out and try at different companies.

- Our goal is to make students more aware of the skills they acquire through the programme, while at the same time giving them insight into how they can create real value for the companies they work with, Kim B. Hansen explains.

Line Krogh-Nielsen is an MSc student who has taken the subject. She says:

- I now have a good understanding of what the labour market is looking for in fresh graduates, knowledge of how we can articulate the skills we have and what we can bring to the labour market.

SDU an inspiration to other universities

The initiative has also promoted interest from outside of SDU.

- We’ve had visits from just about every other university in Denmark. They’ve been wanting to find out how we’re succeeding with it here because it’s something they’re considering to use in their programmes, says Kim B. Hansen.

The subject has been on offer in the Media Studies, MSc, Biology, Physiotherapy and Engineering in PDI programmes. The plan is to offer the subject in even more programmes, and SDU Business has just hired three new career advisers for this very reason. The subject comes highly recommended too, if you ask Line Krogh-Nielsen:

- I could have used it myself in my Bachelor programme and would have been able to settle on my career goals earlier on, she says.

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Photo: Michael Yde Katballe

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