Finished University? Get accredited!

Finished university? Congratulations! You are now almost employable (if your grades can speak for themselves). You can expect months of job searching while you keep your part-time retail job. On the bright side, you’ve been at that retail job for so long you may even qualify to become an underpaid supervisor.

All cynicism aside… Ok you’ve finished uni and have gained employment in an office job in your career path or at least something interesting. What do you do next?

Whether you are in your desired role or not, the process of developing yourself has not finished, in fact you are probably less than half-way there despite your recent three years at university.

I recommend finding and joining a professional organisation for your industry if one exists. Becoming a member of a professional society can do a number of things for your career. First of all, you can get recognised in your profession and commence your path to become a certified professional. It allows you to come into contact with peers in your industry. Thirdly, you are then more aware of continuous educational (and job) opportunities.

While it’s great to have a degree, so do thousands of others in professional employment. Getting certified, taking on further studies and creating networks will help you excel much faster than your average graduate.

Once I graduated from university, I joined the Australian Computer Society (ACS). My degree qualified me to get recognition straight away. I became a certified technologist and ICT practitioner. As long as I continue to invest 20 hours each year in my personal development, I will eventually be granted the title of ‘professional’. Since joining ACS, I’ve become aware of what type of work exists in my industry and I have attended interesting lectures.

A professional isn’t automatically a professional just because he/she was able to pass all the units at university and receive a degree. Having an external body recognise your industry qualifications compliments those letters that appear on your business card after your name (ie. academic titles).

I hope you consider getting accredited. It might help you right away but I can assure you that it won’t hinder your success.