Last year, it was revealed that up to 50,000 new graduates were working in non-skilled roles, including jobs such as lollipop ladies, factory workers and hospital porters.
This is despite the fact that 2016 saw record numbers of graduates find work or pursue further education, and this reflects the economies failure to create skilled jobs roles for the current generation. Of course, this is part of a wider issue with the UK economy, and one that has been exacerbated by the uncertainty created by Brexit.
With this in mind, it is particularly concerning for aspiring financial graduates, and students must take proactive steps to building their knowledge bases and enhancing their value as future candidates for work.
Here are some ways that they can achieve this:
- Study the Impact of Macroeconomics
With most finance degrees, your studies are relatively focused and narrow in their scope. You should therefore use your free time to pursue a more general financial education, and one that strives to understand the nature and impact of macroeconomics.
This relates to a broad field of economics, and one that studies how the aggregate economy behaves. It includes a number of individual factors including inflation, interest rates and national median income, while exploring the unique relationship that exists between such metrics.
By understanding the nature of macroeconomics and the correlation between individual metrics, it is possible to gain a deeper understanding of the economy (and the financial markets) while making it easier to identify and analyse trends.
- Trade Forex Through a Demo Account
Interestingly, one of the best and most practical ways to study macroeconomics is to trade forex. This is because online trading platforms offer access to real-time news feeds and a host of analytical tools, making it possible to interpret macroeconomics trends as they develop.
Actively trading currency helps to put this theoretical learning into context, but the challenge facing most students is that they lack the funds to invest online. This need not be a concern, however, as contemporary forex trading resources now feature demo accounts that enable users to hone their skills in a simulated, risk-free market environment.
You can usually use these accounts for a period of between three and six months, and this helps you to understand first-hand how macroeconomics and currency devaluation impact on the overall strength of an economy.
- Apply Your Knowledge in Practical Scenarios
Trading forex is an excellent example of applying knowledge in a practical scenario, and this is crucial if you are to enhance everything that you learn in a classroom environment. We have already touched on how this creates context, but it also gives you the chance to test your knowledge across a range of different platforms, activities and markets.
In addition to financial market trading, for example, you could also look to start a small, low-cost business venture as part of your degree course or field of study. Even if your course does not require this, you could simulate a small business model in your spare time to fill knowledge gaps relating to various aspects of finance.
Similarly, you could perform case studies on particular businesses, especially those that are known to have overcome specific financial challenges. This type of activity will refine your knowledge considerably, while it can also be presented to employers to showcase a clear depth of understanding.