Future fit: how today’s graduates can equip themselves to stay ahead

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Sue-Zhen Yong, Membership Engagement Officer at the Energy Institute

As students around the world graduate, Sue-Zhen Yong reflects on the benefits that membership of the Energy Institute can provide in a period of uncertainty.

With millions of students all over the world donning their virtual graduation caps, there still remains an elephant in the room as we head into what the Bank of England has predicted as the “worst recession in centuries”.

Uncertainty has been percolating around the job market for some time. According to a recent survey conducted by the Institute of Student Employers, a third of the UK’s biggest student employers remain “undecided about their hiring plans”.

The same survey reported 27% are cutting down their graduate hires, and nearly a third will also be reducing internships and placements. Perhaps most tellingly, over two thirds have called off work experience and insight.

Whilst it’s undeniable that students and recent graduates will face a challenging job market, it’s also important to remember that student and graduate recruitment is still happening.

We’ve seen companies finding new, innovative ways to secure the best talent they can in these unprecedented times with the emergence of virtual work insight schemes and internships, a direct response to the pandemic.

Equipping our younger generation with the necessary skills could not be more pertinent in the energy industry, as future industry leaders tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.  Achieving net-zero will require the brightest and best minds – and there is real opportunity for today’s young professionals to be leading this change.

For students and graduates, what is vital in the current job market is to stand out from the crowd. An excellent starting point is being adaptable, open-minded and proactive with your professional development.

If you’re considering a career in the energy sector, joining the Energy Institute as a Student or Associate member can be a straightforward first step into the industry.

So how can EI membership improve your job prospects?

EI membership is a route to provide you with knowledge, resources and insights into everything energy-related, filled with a whole host of benefits and services equipped to support you at every step of your career.

Here are 4 ways you can make the most of your EI membership and get a step up on the competition:

Boost your hiring prospects

The proof is in the pudding – employers are looking for go-getters who are proactive and possess a clear interest in working in the sector.

EI membership is a valuable addition to your CV and can even provide a constructive talking point in interviews.

Many competent, experienced experts in their field hold professional membership with a body such as the EI. Highly regarded across the sector, our Student and Associate membership grades are the early stages of this achievement.

Connect with like-minded energy enthusiasts and grow your network

Every day, our energy community continues to grow, bringing together people across the energy system from all walks of life.

Through EI LIVE, our programme of virtual events, you can interact with energy experts and start to build your own network of industry contacts.

Or tap into the EI‘s global network of branches and Young Professionals Networks (YPNs), all led by passionate volunteer members, helping to connect you to other energy professionals through local events. Never underestimate the power of networking!

Stay up to date with industry developments

What makes energy an exciting sector to work in is its continuously evolving and dynamic landscape, which prospective employers expect you to be clued up on.

Keep up to date by engaging with our Knowledge Service, the EI’s vast hub of energy information encompassing the entire energy spectrum. This includes our e-Library, packed with over 200 eBooks and 2 million articles to help you learn and develop.

As an EI member you can also catch up with the latest headline news through online access to our magazines, Energy World and Petroleum Review.

Future-proof your career

Further down the line in your career, securing a professional qualification is a fantastic way of showcasing your competence and commitment to the sector, whilst elevating your profile amongst your peers in the industry.

Our range of professional membership and registration grades reflect the depth and breadth of the energy sector, whether it’s Chartered Energy Manager, Chartered or Incorporated Engineer, Chartered Environmentalist or Professional membership.

If you’re not quite ready to apply but are keen to work towards professional recognition, you can use mycareerpath, our online professional development tool for members. mycareerpath helps you to plan, record and review your progress towards our professional titles.

So what are you waiting for?

If you’re currently studying at an EI Learning Affiliate institution, Student membership is free. If not, it’s a one-off fee of £27 that will cover you for the duration of your studies.

Recently graduated? Our Associate membership is for you – as we’re half-way through the year, you’ll only be charged half rate for 2020.

Find out more information on our membership grades and sign up here.

References

Institute of Student Employers (2020). Firms cut opportunities for school leavers and graduates press release.

Guardian (2020). Bank of England warns UK faces historic recession; US jobless claims hit 3.1m

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