Welcome to the Careers and Employability Service! This page is for University of Kent staff to use as a guide to our services and resources and to outline the ways in which we can support both you and your students.

Our mission is to offer a range of careers information, advice and guidance services which encompasses all aspects of career development and planning and provides the opportunity for students to realise their vocational potential. Facilities are available to encourage students to analyse their values, interests, skills and abilities, supplemented by information about employment opportunities and further study, enabling them to make rational career decisions. See below for more information on what we do.

The Careers and Employability Service is located in the driveway to Keynes College and in the Gillingham Building at Medway. Click here for details.

We assist students, departments and members of staff through the following activities:

Careers guidance & information for students:

Skills & employability:

Information & statistics:

Employer information and liaison:

Services for you as staff:

How you can help us:

What we do and how we can help your students

The Careers and Employability Service is more than just the place where your students go to find a job after they graduate! We work with students throughout their time at University and offer a range of services which encompasses all aspects of career development and planning and assists students to realise their potential. We encourage students to analyse their values, interests, skills and abilities, provide them with information about employment opportunities and further study, liaise with graduate employers and postgraduate study providers and work directly with students to help them make appropriate career decisions. We do this in a number of ways: a flexible approach to different students and their individual needs is a key to our work. The “traditional” careers guidance interview is still offered but is only part of a wide range of information, advice and guidance available.

The Careers and Employability Service website is an essential resource for students and graduates: it contains over 800 pages and is one of the most used web sites in the university, getting well over 100,000 visitors in a typical week. These visitors include large numbers of overseas students, which may help our international recruitment. Googling terms such as CV examples, practice aptitude tests and forensic science careers will often bring up the relevant University of Kent pages on the first page. The purchase of the Flash web development tool has allowed the development of new interactive web pages that were not previously possible including Careers Explorer, a career choice programme and practice aptitude tests. The vacancy database, introduced at the start of the 2006-7 academic year, allows students and graduates to search for graduate jobs, summer internships and sandwich placements appropriate to their subject and/or interests. Our “Careers Guidance Online” leaflet (available fronm the Careers Helpdesk) has been designed to draw students’ attention to the site and to help them find their way around the vast amount of information it contains.

Problems we still encounter in our day-to-day work include a lack of awareness among students of what the CES offers and how they can access our services. Although we try to make students aware of these facilities and services from their first days at University, through our presence at the Freshers’ Fair and induction talks, many students still seem timid when entering the CES building. If tutors could reiterate our message that the CES building is open throughout the week and that students do not need to make an appointment to talk to a careers adviser but can drop in freely to use our information resources (including networked PCs) or to consult the duty careers adviser, this might encourage students to treat us more like the Library and feel able to call in at any time.

Over the summer we have produced a new "Career Planning Guide", designed to offer students at every stage of their studies a brief introduction to the Careers and Employability Service and what it offers. Copies have been sent to departmental administrators but any member of staff who would like a copy is welcome to contact the CES

Destinations of University of Kent Graduates

Another problem, this one recurring annually, is the DLHE (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education) survey of graduates. This asks graduates what their current activity is, whether it be work, further study, looking for work or travelling. It then asks for further details of their job and their employing organisation, or the further study, or any other activity which they are undertaking. These destinations are a "snapshot" taken 6 months after the graduate left University and do not necessarily represent their long term career plans.

Due to an overly complex questionnaire designed by HESA and the extremely high response rate demanded (80%), Kent, along with many other universities, has had problems reaching the return expected from UK graduates in the last two years. Collection of data involves sending out questionnaires, email follow ups and telephone calls to non-respondents. Contact is also made with academics and use made of the student records files which contain information about Kent graduates who have stayed at the University to pursue further courses.

The survey forms a major performance indicator for the University and for departments, and is taken into account by national newspapers when they compile university league tables. Academic staff can help greatly by simply keeping contact details for their graduates (or encouraging them to leave these details with the CES) since student records are often out of date by the time of the survey. Also, if a past student requests you to provide a reference for employment or further study, it would be helpful if you could urge them to let you, or the CES, know the outcome of their application. The destination information is often of great value to departments for audits and subject reviews.

Last fully updated 2012