How to advance your career while studying

A student busy studying.
A student busy studying.

When you think about making the most of your postgraduate degree, your mind likely turns to optimising your grades. While academic achievement is unquestionably important, thinking ahead to the career you want after graduating – and considering how you’ll get there – is vital too.

There are many ways to boost your employability while you’re studying. Taking a proactive approach to career planning will put you ahead of many of your peers when it comes to building a rewarding career – but it can be hard to know where to start.

Ranked number one in Australia for employment outcomes in the QS World University Rankings 2023, UNSW is well practised in helping students prepare for the future they want. One of the ways UNSW helps students gain a competitive edge in the job market is through our Career Success module.

Career Success is a self-paced module that has been curated specifically for UNSW Online students by the UNSW Business School’s Career Accelerator team. This module lets you optimise your resume and LinkedIn profile, build your interview and aptitude test skills, explore internship and job opportunities, and negotiate to achieve the salary you deserve.

With comprehensive courses, curated guides and tools created by respected experts in their fields, complemented by advanced AI-powered tools, the Career Success module at UNSW Online will empower you to advance your career while you study.

How to get a head start on your career while studying online

Build your professional network

The adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” certainly applies to the workplace. That’s why networking is one of the most valuable things you can do to advance your career while studying. It’s an excellent way to gain advice from those further along in their careers than you, learn more about specific areas of focus and even find out about opportunities that you may otherwise not have known about.

Of course, studying online doesn’t mean you can’t attend traditional face-to-face networking opportunities. However, the rise of social media, including business networking platforms like LinkedIn, means it’s never been easier to connect with people and build a network of contacts virtually. (Speaking of LinkedIn, ensure your profile is current, complete and has been optimised to appeal to the audience you’re targeting).

Think creatively about ways to network and build your profile. Connect with like-minded students studying alongside you, reach out to your dedicated Student Success Advisor and connect with alumni networks relevant to your field of study. Importantly, make it a priority to stay in touch with your connections so you’re front of mind if any suitable opportunities arise.

Leverage your university’s career resources

All UNSW Online students have complimentary access to UNSW’s Career Success module, which provides a comprehensive framework for thinking about and taking action to implement an effective career plan.

Career Success is a self-paced module designed to support our students with career-planning resources that give them a head start on making a successful transition from study to the workforce and advancing their careers.

Get real-world experience via industry projects

Industry projects are a great way to prepare for new career opportunities. Many UNSW Online programs include courses that allow you to apply and refine your skills in a real-world industry setting. They may take the form of courses where you consult with industry or collaborate with organisations. Regardless of how you obtain your real-world experience, they provide fantastic opportunities to put your skills into practice, network with professionals in your field, understand how to apply your new learnings in the workplace and by doing so, add value to your career and organisation.

How studying at UNSW supports your career success

Studying online with UNSW gives you the flexibility to learn when best suits you while still receiving the same high standard of teaching quality as those studying on-campus. As mentioned earlier, UNSW Online students receive access to our Career Success module, designed to help you navigate the job market with confidence and unlock your career potential.

Some of the industry-leading Career Success tools you can use to get a head start on building a career that inspires you are:

Career AI: Accelerate your career

Career AI (powered by VMock) is an AI-driven platform that supports higher education students to accelerate their careers. It’s a comprehensive online resource that gives you instant personalised guidance on everything from resumes to your LinkedIn profile and career planning.

UNSW students can use Career AI anywhere, any time to get immediate feedback on:

  • Improving your resume – benchmark your resume against more than 100 criteria and receive tailored, step-by-step advice on how to improve it.
  • Optimising your skill set to meet your dream career – evaluate your skills against the characteristics required for the roles and career you’re targeting and develop a plan to address any gaps.
  • Elevate your LinkedIn profile – Career AI’s LinkedIn optimisation application lets you boost your LinkedIn profile to be found and stand out.
  • Improve your interview skills – gain feedback on critical interview elements, including body language, eye contact, enunciation and more, from the comfort of your desk.

Graduates First: Approach aptitude tests with confidence

Graduates First is a leading online career resource that offers practice aptitude tests, games and video interviews for job seekers. The platform allows you to practice psychometric assessments (numerical, verbal, logical and personality tests) and prepare for interviews. It also has a vast library of career resources and advice from experts about maximising your performance and increasing your chance of success in aptitude tests.

CaseCoach: Prepare for consulting firm interviews

CaseCoach is a market-leading interview preparation platform that helps you prepare for interviews with top-tier consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG and Bain. Understand the factors that influence application screening decisions and supercharge your odds of making it to the interview stage with access to how-to videos and proven cover letter and resume templates. You can also connect with experienced consultants for one-on-one coaching to help you achieve your career goals.

Careers Directory: Explore job resources and opportunities

The UNSW Business School Careers Directory is a comprehensive online career hub that connects students with a myriad of career resources and opportunities from all industries, including Cyber Security and Data Science fields. Explore what it’s like to work at a range of leading employers via engaging virtual experiences, browse Australia’s highest-rated business graduate employers, hear from recent graduates about their career progression and view available internships and job opportunities.

PayNegotiation: Approach salary negotiations with confidence

PayNegotiation is an online course that equips students to approach the often-daunting salary negotiation process with confidence. Delivered by leading career coaches and negotiation experts, PayNegotiation gives you actionable tools and strategies for preparing and presenting your case, holding your ground, and avoiding selling yourself short when it comes to your starting salary.

Kick-start your career with the UNSW Career Success module.

UNSW’s Career Success module is a powerful online career resource that gives our students a head start on building a rewarding career after they graduate.

We know it can be challenging to make time to think about your future career when you’re busy focusing on your studies. That’s why Career Success is completely self-paced, giving you access to a variety of leading career resources whenever you need them. You also have access to Career Success for the entire time you are enrolled in one of our programs. So, whether you’re preparing for a specific psychometric test or interview or proactively looking to strengthen your resume or LinkedIn profile before applying for future roles, Career Success makes it easy.

Learn more about studying with UNSW Online and how we support your career success.

Get in touch with our enrolment team on 1300 974 990, or speak to an enrolment advisor now.