Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Monthly Archives: January 2016

Is a postgraduate degree necessary?


📥  Postgraduate Study

students in the library for page 20 28523-0230


An article appeared in the THES last Thursday on this topic. Victoria Halman investigated how employers view the growing trend for graduates to take a second qualification, usually a Masters, to help them land a first job. It is a well researched article which is worth a read and which shows the pros and cons. The key is to find out how employers in your chosen career area would view such additional study. If you want to discuss your further study plans with someone impartial then you can arrange to talk to a Careers Adviser.

Our website also carries advice and information if you are considering a postgraduate course.



Revealed: the secret to career success


📥  Career Choice

One of the most common themes we hear when students come in for careers guidance is

'How will I know when a job is right for me? What if I go for something and when I get there, I turn out to hate it?'

Well, this morning I saw the results of a survey carried out by Reed, the recruitment specialists, published in the RI5 site. There was plenty I frankly disagreed with - apparently, the indicators of career success are to have your own office, a designated parking space and a salary of £56K.

But that, actually, is the whole point. Although I didn't feel that those things would signal career success, some people do. We are all individuals, with different values and motivations, and therefore success looks very different for some, than others. And when you dig deeper into the survey, actually you see that reflected in the results:

The top list of factors indicating ‘career success’:

Earning in excess of £56,000 a year
Seven weeks’ annual leave
Managing a team of 11 people
Attending five business lunches each month
Allowed to attend two leisure days each month
Put £489.79 on expenses each month
Take at least six UK-based business trips each year
Take at least three business trips abroad each year
The ability to spend seven days with the family each month
Work an 8:45am - 16:37pm day
The ability to work six ‘flexible’ days a month
Having your own office
An excellent pension
Achieving the perfect work/life balance
Owning your own property
A designated parking space
Your own company car
Private healthcare for all family members
Benefit from a bonus scheme
Having your own PA / secretary

So, if any of you reading this are trying to work out what you want from your future, I thought this list might be a useful tool to get a handle on your motivations. Does it look like your idea of success? Which indicators ring true for you?

Try and build up your own list of 'career success indicators'. The things you would like your job, or study opportunity, to offer you - now or in the future.

Of course, doing that won't immediately tell you what your 'dream job' is. But you will be nearer to working out what your dream looks like.

For a next step, try coming in to book a guidance appointment with a Careers Adviser to start putting flesh on the bones of your career dream. Or if that seems a bit scary, have a go at our online guidance tools, which will suggest jobs that they think might match your values and motivations. You'll soon feel more in control, and more confident that the jobs you're going for are the right ones for you.


For the full article about the survey, please see:


Inspiration from two Sprint speakers

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📥  Diversity, inspire



We are delighted to share inspirational advice from two of our speakers who will be presenting to our Sprint participants next week.

Catherine Wenger
Associate Director, West Water Group Leader - Arup

Catherine read Civil Engineering at Bristol University and joined Arup upon graduation. Her first project was the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden working on designing bouncy ballet rehearsal room floors and a studio theatre that wouldn’t vibrate from passing underground trains. Over the next 4 years Catherine worked on a wonderful range of buildings and did a year’s site experience with O’Rourkes and focused on securing her Civil Chartership. Catherine moved to San Francisco with the company a month after taking her civils interview to work on seismic buildings. With her knowledge of American Codes, Catherine was well placed to deliver a large-scale project in Panama.   Catherine led a multi-disciplinary team working across 11 countries.  Catherine's advice to women embarking on their careers:

  • Say yes to opportunities – I didn’t know anything about Water but found the challenge really rewarding.
  • Discuss promotions with your support network – knowing that my husband, parents and friends would step in and help whilst I took on more responsibility was vital to agreeing to the leadership role I now hold.
  • Be realistic about part time working – I have done 3, 4 and 5 day weeks, shuffled my days around and tried all sorts of combinations to suit what I was doing at any particular time.

Collette Rogers
Principal Program Manager - Microsoft

Colette applied for a place on a degree course in business computing as an adult returner (after her children started school). While she was  apprehensive about studying again she found the course really stimulating and achieved a 1st class degree. Since then, Collete has worked in the IT industry for 17 years and has experienced  much change and innovation in that time.  Colette's advice to women embarking on their careers:

  • Always stretch for goals you don’t think you can reach, you will surprise yourself about what you can achieve
  • Leading people is about setting direction and removing obstacles it isn’t about dominating others
  • Difficult things will happen but you can always choose how you deal with them so choose to be positive and optimistic
  • Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching

Sprint development programme comes to Bath!

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📥  Diversity, Event, inspire


Sprint is a well-established development programme for undergraduate and graduate women.

Building on the success of the prestigious Springboard programme, Sprint has been researched, designed and written specifically to address issues and challenges faced by undergraduate and graduate women. The programme was originally pioneered at Oxbridge and with generous support from the Alumni Fund, the Careers Service at Bath will be delivering the programme for the first time during the inter-semester break taking place this week.

Sprint is aimed at women of all backgrounds and ages and is a fantastic opportunity for female students at the early stages of their professional development. The programme enables participants to take hold of their personal ambitions and covers key development topics such as how to use your personal power,  identify individual values, time management and learn how to use assertiveness positively. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from inspiring female role models from organisations such as AXA, Microsoft and Arup.