So, you’re well into your studies and you’ve got a pretty good idea which industry you want to work in. Whether it be in health, mining, education, business, or anything in between, there’s a host of reasons why it’s important to gain industry knowledge well before completing your degree.
Industry knowledge is understanding the core functions and processes required within your chosen field. This includes keeping up to date with labour trends and developments, which may provide insights into future opportunities.
Having a solid knowledge of your industry may help you identify companies or organisations who are leaders in their field and highlight who you aspire to work with in future. A good starting point to find employers in your chosen field is to check out our course specific Career Guides – simply search ‘informational interview’ in the UniHub Resource Library.
Keeping up to date with labour trends and developments can also be useful for job interviews and application preparation. For example, you could use data and reports from IBISWorld to help explain why you want to work for an organisation or if you have to negotiate your starting salary.
There are heaps of industry bodies, located in Australia, New Zealand and overseas. Subscribing to any of their email updates, social media platforms or newsletters is an effective way of maintaining your industry knowledge. Joining professional associations is also a great way to stay abreast of industry trends, and membership often comes at a discounted price for students.
Industry related bloggers are especially up-to-date, and often interview industry leaders to support their blog content. Following relevant organisations or individuals on LinkedIn is also great way to stay connected and up to date.
Conducting informational interviews is another excellent way to gain labour market information specific to your industry. It’s also an effective way to build your industry networks. An informational interview involves contacting people in your industry or field and asking them specific questions. Search ‘informational interview’ in the UniHub Resource Library for more information.
Maintaining your industry knowledge and acquiring new information is even more effective when you can glean it from someone experienced in the field, such as a mentor. A mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be someone you work with. It may be a friend, a lecturer, or family member with extensive industry experience. Being able to ask any kind of questions, including what you may consider to be a silly question, is invaluable.
Keeping your industry knowledge current is an integral part of the career journey. Likewise, gaining industry knowledge is ongoing, especially in fast paced industries such as technology where change is constant. As a student, you can take advantage of the many ways to get on top of industry trends while developing your skillset, which is sure to give you an added advantage when it comes time to applying for graduate roles.
Want to find out more about how to get to know your industry? Join our online Graduate Gateway session on Tuesday 22 November looking at exactly that topic.
If you can’t attend on the day, book your spot anyway and we’ll send you a recording after the event.