As improving career prospects is becoming one of the key criteria for students choosing their university, it stands to reason that universities need to focus on their careers service offering.
This is part of the reason for the emerging trend for virtual careers fairs. Never before have higher education institutions faced so much pressure, there’s major competition to recruit students in the first place, there’s jostling for position on league tables and now employability reports which highlight graduate employment statistics. It’s the latter which is coming under the microscope once again with the Destinations of Leavers in Higher Education report by HESA under review, the result of which will be a new Graduate Outcomes report in 2020.
Employability Directors and Careers Service Heads have been looking for ways to better their service, both for the graduate and also for the key employers they want to foster relationships with. At Ivent, we’re definitely seeing a rise in interest for reaching a wider employer audience more cost effectively with an online event option. In one recent example, a careers fair was held virtually to match graduates with job opportunities internationally. The virtual event saw an increased number of employers occupying branded digital ‘booths’ (who found it very time and cost-effective) and able to engage with more graduates who were looking further afield for employment. Graduates utilised the various modes of communication, from live chat to video chat to glean the information required. Logistically and financially, the virtual careers event improved the service for everyone involved and can be delivered on a much more regular basis that live fairs.
As universities compete to attract the best students, they are increasingly focused on proving their courses offer good job prospects and that they offer a good careers services via, amongst much else, the best careers fairs. Online careers fairs are effective as they can attract a wider number of employers for time and cost reasons and because online events can be run over multiple days and also on demand giving students more time to investigate potential careers and employers.