Last year I completed my Honours degree in Anthropology and History. Hurrah!! This year, after giving myself a well earned holiday, I have started looking for work. The good news is that I got the first job I went for! Really looking forward to another working experience, this time with a Non Government Organisation that does valuable and much needed work in our community. This is only a short term project that I will be working on, so I am still looking for a permanent job.
This brings me to this little publication that I have recently picked up at The University of Adelaide careers service, who I have been accessing their great services. The Australian government each year produces this publication for Graduates to assist them in making career choices. Now I like to think I am pretty cluey and able to access information, but gee it is hard to trawl through the myriad of graduate information sites. This publication is definitely a help, but I do not expect it is a comprehensive list of graduate opportunities in Australia.
The publication is divided into Government and Private and giving a brief description of the organisation, where the position would be based and the degree profiles they are seeking. University education is becoming a more specifically named degree vocational training pathway than ever before, if you judge it by Graduate profiles being sought. Whilst I understand the need to recruit those who have received specialised training in a named degree for certain jobs, I suggest it is also important that businesses think laterally about the profile of their organisation and the prospects for innovation through diversity.
My biggest point of contention with this document is the ageist nature of it. Fantastic to have vibrant, enthusiastic young people applying for these positions, but recruiters you are ignoring a gold mine of employees. Those people who have returned to study after a sea change, career change, life change, end of parenting responsibilities change – I could go on. Graduates who are looking for work are not all ‘young’ and many of these ‘older’ workers bring with them expertise and experience from other industries that recruiters may not have considered. So why am I banging on about this? Because no where in this document is there an image of a Graduate who is over 25 years old, and in the age of not discriminating on age this document in fact makes a largely exclusionary statement of who and what a Graduate is.
So if we are going to spend upteem 10s of thousands of tax payers dollars on a Graduate publication, website and University careers centres then we need to revisit what the profile of a Graduate actually is. They’re not all 22 year old Bachelor of Commerce students (no offence if that is you). I wish the very best of luck to all Graduates looking for work, you’ve worked damn hard, made sacrifices and deserve to find a fantastic job and career. I’m sure looking forward to mine…