We’re in the middle of sending out questionnaires to 2013/14 Bath graduates for the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey and it made me wonder whether current students are aware of the survey and how they can make use of the vast amount of information we collect.
We are required to obtain at least an 80% response rate from our UK full time graduates and we compile downloadable leaflets for first degree programmes detailing What do Bath graduates do? Why not have a look at the leaflet for your course and see if it gives you any inspiration? There may be career paths you didn't know were possible with your subject and companies you had never thought to target. The data we collect contributes to national statistics and is published as What do graduates do?
Six months after you graduate we will be in touch to ask what YOU are doing after your studies at Bath. Your input will benefit Bath students and the University as a whole so please take a minute to complete the questionnaire.
The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. To honour this, we wanted to inspire Bath students to consider and explore the wide range of opportunities within this challenging but rewarding field.
When you think of Human Rights, the first organisations that probably pop into your head are Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch, who produce research into human rights abuses and lead high profile campaigns which are often reported in the popular press. In reality a diverse range of organisations are involved in human rights and offer a variety of career opportunities - you could be working for an NGO, relevant pressure groups, in publishing/ journalism, the legal sector, for research organisations, charities, specialist consultancies, in central/local government, for social enterprises and in CSR departments of large corporations. This very helpful resource produced by SOAS Careers Service lists organisations and bodies whose work is specifically related to human rights.
It is worth bearing in mind that Human Rights is a broad employment area, not a specific job. Therefore, it is important to step back and reflect on your own values and the motivation driving your interest in this field. You could work as a fundraiser, logistics manager, policy and advocacy coordinator, human rights, education manager, audio visual archivist, administrative assistant, women’s rights researcher, website developer, accountant, youth worker, nurse, public relations officer, lobbyist, solicitor, barrister or a campaigner. This list is by no means exhaustive so think about the kind of day-to-day work you are interested in!
Unlike some other sectors, often there are no clearly defined career entry points and progression paths; therefore a common challenge for many graduates is to find a 'way in'. One of the ways to get your foot through the door is through volunteering. This is not only a useful way to confirm whether a career in human rights is for you it will also help you in building your network and your CV. Check out the volunteering opportunities via the Bath Student Union or explore opportunities on the Do It website. I think the advice on the Idealist website is excellent and offers food for thought if you are considering working in Human Rights.
Lastly, do consider other sectors such as International Development as there is a significant overlap with human rights.
I really enjoyed reading Nipuni Perera’s blog post on attending the One Young World Summit in Dublin which inspired me to shine a light on the breadth of job opportunities available to graduates within the International Development sector.
International development is about engaging with economically disadvantaged regions in the world to empower people to improve their lives and address poverty. The sector is diverse and offers opportunities in governance, policy, healthcare, finance, campaigning, disaster preparedness, education and much more! Broadly speaking organisations involved in international development can be grouped into:
- Government Organisations such as The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
- Multilateral Organisations such as the United Nations
- Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) such as BOND (British Overseas NGO’s for Development) or Oxfam.
- Academic Organisations & Research Institutes such as the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
- Consultancies such as WYG.
You may want to consider reading this very helpful guide explaining the types of development employers published by Devex. Roles within the sector are diverse and constantly evolving. Broadly the roles fall into the following categories:
- Support: HR, Finance, Logistics, IT, Administration etc
- Advocacy / Outreach: campaigning, lobbying, PR and fundraising.
- Practitioner: project management, field work, relief work etc
There are also a growing number of roles within Policy and Research offering opportunities to work at government and country specific level. There are lots of ways to get into the sector but it worth remembering it is a competitive field! Often the first step into most organisations is through volunteering! It will pay to clarify what your strengths are, what roles in the sector interest you and research ways in! These tips from the Guardian on getting into International Development are excellent! The Careers Advisers at Bath have put together an excellent resource which provides information on all aspects of getting into the sector and specific insights into working in Local Government, Charities and much more!
Good Luck! If you need any further help just pop in and talk to one of our Careers Advisers.