Employability is more than a degree
Suzi Kuban
August 8, 2017

Employability is more than a degree

4 ways to help your teen develop skills for their future

What do teenagers, parents, teachers, schools, and governments all have in common? Employability is high on their agenda. Let me explain.


The Fourth Industrial Revolution

We are in, what the experts call, the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Advancements in technology and globalisation are changing the way we work and even what our work is. By the time your child is an engrained part of the labour force, the world will have progressed even further; therefore your child will require more than academic understanding and basic skills to enhance their employability. They will need transferable and adaptable skills.

For example, critical thinking and creativity skills will help them to solve complex problems, emotional intelligence and compassion will aid them as they interact with varied people and cultures, and persistance and learner skills will help them to keep up with the fasting moving world. These skills, a long with others, are called 21st Century Skills.


University doesn’t mean employability

As a parent, you might believe that attending university your child will improve their employment prospects. While gaining a degree will certainly give your child a head start, it is important to stress this alone will not guarantee your child’s employability.

By the time your teen is entering university, it is likely they will have a level of understanding and command of some 21st Century Skills, but to really safe guard their future it is vital your child takes a proactive approach to developing these skills further.


4 way to enhance your teens employability

Here are 4 ways you, as a parent, can help your teen hone their 21st Century Skills :


1. Join a team

A recent report found that 70% of businesses believe that being part of a community, society, or team is important and makes a graduate stand out from the crowd. As your child’s work load increases there is a tendency to sacrifice these types of activities. But be encouraging and support their deeper involvement in anything from an unusual hobby to a musical instrument.


2. Embrace technology

Ensure your child has a good command of technology and the internet. Not only do most jobs require this skill set but as more recruiters utilise the web to source and vet candidates, it’s likely this is how your child will find their job.  This point also highlights the importance of your child safe guarding their reputation and personal brand online. Digital Intelligence is vital.


3. Track everything

Does your child already have a passion or career in mind? Encourage them to get involved in the industry, do research, and make connections. Even at this young age the more exposure they get, the more appealing their profile will be. Also, ensure your teen tracks everything, gets references, builds a portfolio, and keeps their CV up to date.


4. Start a business

Regardless of how successful the business is, starting one will significantly improve their job prospects. It demonstrates entrepreneurial spirit and shows a recruiter they are willing to go an extra mile.



Finally, I would like to stress that building these skills starts from day 1! Not just before or after graduation. By then other graduates will have years of experience and better-developed skills.