8th January, 2019
Research shows the transition from student to worker is getting longer and more difficult. So what can institutions and businesses do to make the process smoother while driving positive outcomes for all?
Life as a student is all about managing change. Each year, you work to gain more knowledge and new skills, all with the ultimate goal of securing a career in your preferred field.
This paradigm has existed for centuries, but in the modern world the education pathway has become longer and more convoluted than ever before and this is evidenced in the length of time it takes for the average student to transition into the workforce.
Last year, the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) released The New Work Reality report, which revealed the average transition time from education to work is 4.7 years compared to one year in 1986.
Even removing the common, optional activities that prevent young Australians from entering the workforce immediately (such as gap years and returning for further education), FYA found the period between leaving education and beginning full-time employment is still 2.6 years for the average student today.
Online accounting software provider, MYOB has a stated aim of improving this situation, and it does so with a number of initiatives it runs in conjunction with education providers across Australia and New Zealand.
We recently sat down with three of our recent graduate employees to discuss their experience, and how proactive employers can make a big difference in the burgeoning careers of today’s youth.
Having studied a Masters of Professional Accounting, which she finished in late 2017, Shree Jaiswal was introduced to MYOB via the University of Canterbury Career Hub.
It was here that Jaiswal learned about MYOB INCITE, which she says afforded her a broader view of the industry within which she was seeking employment.
“Attending both INCITE 2017 and 2018 revealed the bigger picture of the accounting industry in New Zealand and Australia,” said Jaiswal. “The changing technology, its impact on accountancy and The Connected Practice vision were all brought to life through these events.”
“When you attend an event like MYOB INCITE, you see the future and you link yourself to that future and that’s great for students who are always busy with assignments and lectures.”
John Florez Rodriguez first came across MYOB while studying for his Diploma of Business at Aspire2, an organisation that provides education and vocational training in New Zealand.
During his course, Aspire2 organised a trip to MYOB’s offices, affording students the chance to hear from people working in the industry they too hoped to work within.
Since then, Florez Rodriguez has come to realise the importance of this sort of experiential education.
“Academia provides students with multiple core skills,” said Florez Rodriguez. “However, real-life experience gained from visiting businesses, attending conferences and networking with professionals is the best way to foster a deep understanding of what to expect once we join the workforce.”
“As a result of my first interaction with MYOB, I chose to research the company for my final paper at Aspire2, which opened up more opportunities to interact with MYOB employees and that is how I found out about the job opening that I now occupy.”
Keddy Shen, while not having quite completed the transition into full-time work, is already seeing the benefits of education-corporate partnerships.
While working on his Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science degrees, Shen’s first major interaction with MYOB arrived via Beta Alpha Psi (the University of Auckland chapter of a popular accounting, finance and information systems student-run club), where he had the opportunity to visit one of MYOB’s offices.
Since then, Shen has gone on to participate in multiple MYOB Hackdays events, as well as collaborating on specific events run in conjunction with Beta Alpha Psi and MYOB.
“Culture is a concept that’s nearly impossible to describe in words and can really only be understood through physical interactions,” said Shen. “By interacting with MYOB at various events, I was able to get a feel for and learn about its culture without having worked there.”
Shen also notes that the same is true in terms of helping students differentiate themselves in the eyes of prospective employers.
“Tertiary education is no longer a point of difference for job applicants – it’s almost a baseline expectation.
“Events like Hackdays give students an opportunity to learn about industry and form connections that just can’t be gained through purely academic pathways.”