OU study skills score highly with employers
Three students highlight how skills developed through OU study have helped them in the workplace.
Rachael: The skills that I'm learning through the Open University, obviously I'm starting already to use them at work, so the more I gain with the Open University, the more of an asset I'm hopefully going to become to the company.
Ramesh: It will give me more knowledge about how to manage a project. How to initiate a contract, when you're developing a new project as such. How do you do estimations, and how do you delegate work to your team members, which is all quite a vital part of the project management job as such.
Rachael: And they also help a lot with your ability to communicate in a written format with other people.
Paul: I think certainly communication. I think the ability to speak to other people and particularly you have to have some knowledge of IT these days if you're going to be able to communicate your knowledge and gain knowledge from the outside world and bring it to your desktop. So that's been certainly a big part of what I do.
OU graduate Stephen McGann reflects on the key qualities that he has demonstrated through his degree.
Stephen: So what does an education actually give you? What does an OU education give you?
You have fantastic things, and I certainly found during my degree I became, you know, the key skills are being so incredibly self disciplined: what I didn't have anywhere near the degree of self discipline I had before.
I was able to self-motivate. I mean these are wonderful skills, you know, to be able to go through and do one of these degrees any employer knows that you've had to work hard; you've worked with distractions in your life.
The skills you develop while studying have a positive influence on your role in your family, your involvement in the community, or in your potential to do a job. Whatever your motivation for study, there is a lot to be gained from reflecting on your skills and qualities and seeing how these can be used to enhance your career and personal development.
It's really important that a candidate enjoys working as part of the team and equally has the ability to get along with people and work alongside others. The ability to problem solve, that's a skill that we're looking for: someone that can actually identify what a problem is and draw some logical conclusions from that.
Ruth Stokes, Head of Recruitment and Resourcing, KPMG
OU students develop a wide range of skills, such as commitment, self-motivation and confidence, all of which are highly valued by employers. These employability skills are relevant if you are seeking work, and also if you are in work and want to develop or change your career. The Employability skills activity helps you identify other skills and qualities that you can develop through OU study.
IT and essay writing/report writing - I was dreadful at that before and it was one of the reasons I didn’t do so well at university the first time around. I now write reports for work and my degree helped prepare me for that.
The learning outcomes given for each course (module) or qualification help identify the key intellectual, practical and professional skills you should gain - find them on the Study at the OU website. You could categorise the learning outcomes you have achieved into four groups to help match them to particular skills.
Dividing learning outcomes into categories makes them more manageable to deal with, but in reality they tend to overlap.
Use the Recording educational achievements form (RTF, 21KB) to keep a record of your qualifications. As you continue with your OU study, keep this up to date, as it will be useful to you when you put together a CV or apply for jobs.
Continue with the career planning activities by moving on to look at your skills developed at work.
Being able to communicate information in the right way to the right audience is a skill I have gained from OU study.
I was sitting in meetings with representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry - the OU gave me the confidence to do this.
I was able to parachute myself straight into two topics which were directly relevant to my job.
I found from using the OU student café different methods of communication and how that communication helps to draw people in.