It’s the old chestnut that has weighed down graduates over the years.
You can’t get experience without a job and you can’t get a job without experience.
But now the Letterkenny Institute of Technology is proving it may have just the solution.
The LYIT’s postgraduate programmes in business have a strong track record for graduate employment and all include a mentored work placement.
That means, the student not only gets to experience a real work environment but they can also bring genuine business expertise to the employer. It’s proven to be a real asset when it comes to offering employers that all-important experience.
Furthermore the most recent LYIT Graduate Survey (2013) shows that having a postgraduate qualification gives a significant boost to securing employment, nearly double the level for undergraduate, where 79% of students on business postgraduate programmes secured employment.
Michael Margey Head of School of Business explains, “It’s the old chestnut. Employers want a proven track record and graduates need to gain experience. When our graduates go out in the field and demonstrate the value they can bring to an organization, it’s a valuable exchange for both student and employer. In many cases there’s a connection between the companies that postgrads are placed with and students gaining employment. There’s no doubt that overall, the work placement is a huge boost to helping postgrads secure jobs.”
He continues, “The MSc in Marketing Practice at the Business School is a 1 year full-time and 2 years part-time course which aims to grow complementary marketing competencies, alongside the graduate’s primary business skills. The curriculum reflects the skills’ deficits identified in the labour market and aims to equip graduates with essential tools to secure employment.” The most recent Forfas Future Skills Report (2014) points to the fact, marketing related skills are very much in demand for organizations to grow and win business, and are currently in short supply. Marketing plays a key role in driving trade and export performance, managing data and social media campaigns, and in driving the competitive consumer goods sector.
Shane Magee is Operations Manager at Errigal Seafood, a successful Donegal company located in Carrick which exports shellfish to mainland Europe and as far away as South Korea and Japan. He studied the MSc in Marketing at LYIT and did work placement with Errigal.
“The work experience you get on the course, money can’t buy.” He says, “You get the opportunity to put theory into practice and really understand how a company operates and understand the many challenges faced by companies operating in today’s challenging environment. So the result is, employers get a chance to see the value of marketing first hand and how it can benefit their company directly. It’s all about delivering results and showing what you can offer to the company, to make a job for yourself.”
In addition he continues, “It’s a great advantage studying the postgrad in Marketing at LYIT since you build up a strong network of people including lecturers, who are a valuable resource, long after you’re finished. Marketing makes you understand the product and who buys it. The marketing audit you conduct whilst on placement covers many aspects of the company and gives you a grasp of its products, markets and customers. I have no doubt the work placement helped me secure the job with Errigal after my studies.”
Shane says he feels he benefited much more by being placed with a local company.
“Errigal Seafood celebrates 52 years in business this year, employing local people and sourcing a local product which has continuously adapted to supply new markets. That sort of longevity doesn’t happen by accident. There’s a very knowledgeable and committed team here, I am fortunate to have been able learn from them.”
Sarah Meehan who works with Donegal Tourism delivering marketing, says the MSc helped to build her confidence. Sarah also mentors and trains micro-businesses in the North West and NI.
“It’s a great investment of your time,” she says, “the MSc in Marketing at LYIT is a brilliant course, very practical, which suited me. You get a real glimpse of business issues and how to solve them. The work placement gives you a chance to apply what you’ve learned but also make yourself invaluable to the employer.”
“I also believe the Masters has given me tremendous credibility. I can’t rate it highly enough and the lecturers are excellent and really tuned in. I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to pursue a career in marketing and business in general.”
LYIT has also recently launched a new ‘Pushing Boundaries’ scholarship scheme which aims to increase access to higher education and postgraduate studies. LYIT is offering up to 30 Masters scholarships if you have the talent, the drive and the initiative to complete your studies. The scholarships have been designed for those students who are in receipt of no other form of financial assistance to study from a grant awarding body. To find out more about the MSc in Marketing Practice and the ‘Pushing Boundraries’ Scholarship scheme, visit lyit.ie, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Rory McMorrow, School of Business Administrator 074 9186211.