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Developing your skills

Employability is not just about getting a job - it is about having the skills and knowledge that will make you effective in the work place. 



Our Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre can help you start to identify the skills you already have and pinpointing areas you need to develop. Your degree will be vital, but employers also rate employability skills as an important factor when it comes to graduate recuitment.

Developing your skills - enhancing your employability

Employers place great importance on transferable skills such as communication, problem-solving and team work and we can help you to identify and develop these skills:

Every Durham University student completes an online Skills Audit before they arrive to help identify what skills they need to develop. We run a range of courses to develop personal transferable skills in conjunction with leading employers such as IBM, PwC, Microsoft, British Gas, British Library, Next, Teach First, UBS, Marie Curie Cancer Care and many more.

Durham University graduates are currently ranked:

  • 34th in the world by large employers (QS World University Rankings 2018) 
  • 5th in the UK (The Times and The Sunday Times University Guide 2018).

Contact with employers

We provide access to a network of employers, ranging from large multinational corporations to local firms, who actively recruit Durham graduates. We arrange presentations by employers, professional bodies and voluntary organisations throughout the year, along with wide range of Careers Fairs, where you can meet employers, make contacts and gather information about work experience and placement opportunities.

Durham students also have access to our online vacancy database to find out about placements, internships and final year graduate employment.

Work experience

This is increasingly important in employer assessment and selection processes, as employers want to see that you are commercially aware and have the skills needed to excel in the workplace. Work experience is an excellent way to develop these abilities and has the added advantage of letting you 'test out' the type of job you might like to do.

You may be able to undertake a placement as part of your course, or secure an internship during the vacation. We can advise you on making the most of these opportunities. Our Student Employment Service can also help you find local part-time vacancies and explore other opportunities for work experience

A job while you're studying

Part-time work while you're at university isn't only a good way to help pay for your studies, it's also a very valuable aspect to add to a CV, and a great way to gain the skills future employers are looking for. Whether you want to work in term-time, just in the holidays, or all year round, our Student Employment Service will help you find the right position.

For more information see the Student Employment Service website.

The Durham Award

Developed in partnership with employers and students, the Durham Award can help you stand out from the crowd. It recognises the things you do outside your degree, such as involvement in sports, societies, your college or charity work. It helps you to reflect on your experiences and show how the skills you have learned will make you a better employee.

Find out more about The Durham Award.

"What I found most beneficial about the Durham Award was the chance to take stock and reflect on all I had achieved here. I was able to recognise the transferable skills I had developed through my extraccurricular activities, such as communication, team building, time management and leadership which are many of the skills employers are looking for."

David Saddington, Geography graduate.
Durham Award holders and TEDxTeen speaker.

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