Careers and Higher Education Podcasts As Lockdown Eases

In a world where we have spent months unable to connect with people face to face, I have become increasingly interested in connecting to the world via podcasts.

I would normally listen to movie podcasts whilst making dinner, but I saw that Labour Market Information (LMI) god Charlie Ball was speaking on a podcast I couldn’t resist. I know it’s sad isn’t it!

I appreciate that this isn’t exactly an exciting hobby for everyone, but during a climate where things are changing all the time, I found it useful to get a sense of what is happening. For me as a Careers Professional within Higher Education, podcasts are a rich medium for insight into my industry. To listen to experts within my field and hear from my peers at other institutions about what they are doing to support the class of 2020 is interesting and engaging.

Since finding my first Careers and Higher Education related podcast I had a look around and wanted to share some of the ones I think students and graduates will find of interest. It might be that you are an auditory learner, or like me, like to use podcasts as a self-development tool. Either way have a listen, there is lots out there to enjoy and learn from.

For those who are interested in spending time thinking about their career and learning from the experts

The New Normal

The New Normal is hosted by Employability Advisors from Sheffield Hallam University. It was this podcast that got me into careers related podcasts. I loved how these Careers professionals had developed their own podcast specifically to engage with students during lockdown and were already bringing in key contributors from across the HE sectors to discuss the key topics of the day.

Guests include the god of LMI I spoke of earlier, Charlie Ball, Head of Higher Education Intelligence for Prospects/Jisc and Tristram Hooley, Chief Research Officer for the Institute of Student Employers. Topics have included how Careers services have pivoted to online delivery, COVID-19’s impact on the Design sector, how to support the class of 2020, understanding LMI and the rise of podcasting and advice for aspiring podcasters.

I particular like how they provide all relevant links and further reading/listening in the notes so you can explore issues that have been discussed further.

Get that Grad job

Another podcast hosted by careers professionals, Get that Grad Job deals most specifically with direct Careers advice. They cover a range of topics to help guide and support those navigating the challenges of securing a graduate job, with input from experts from the University of Lancaster’s Careers team and employers.

They cover much of the topics we see students about: the secrets of a great CV; professional networking; selling your experiences in applications and the timely: improving employability in a socially distant summer. These are all less than 30 minutes so quite an easy listen to pick up some starting point advice for your career.

Future You

There would not be Careers information resources without Prospects. They are one of the key websites we refer students and graduates to, and they have recently developed their podcast as an interactive way to share their knowledge of graduate careers expertise.

Future You has been running since September but have already covered: get skills employers want; how to become an entrepreneur; launch your teaching career and navigating life after university. They speak to resident Careers advisors from the University of Essex and bring in employers for their advice on issues such as tips on interviews and explaining graduate schemes.

For those who want to engage more with how they work and how to get the best out of their work life

I’ve found Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper, founders of Amazing if and hosts of the Squiggly Careers podcasts really interesting and easy to listen to. Their background is career coaching and are authors of ‘How to Overcome Your Confidence Gremlins’ and Careers book ‘Squiggly Careers’. They tackle a subject a week with engaging personal insight and practical advice to take away and their mantra is ‘how to make work better for everyone’. They have just finished their Ask the Expert series talking to CEOs and experts from industry. Recent topics have included: belonging in a virtual world of work; how to develop your adaptability; how to cope with careers change, and uncertainty and how to use emotional intelligence at work.

For entrepreneurs who want to hear about University of Brighton alumni success stories 

There are now 2 series of Founder Chats with Beepurple where you will find lots of great talks with a wide variety of University of Brighton success stories. The podcast is run by Beepurple, our entrepreneurship support service. You get great insight into what it takes to develop, set up and build a successful business.  They have covered everything from how to build a freelance creative career and the challenges of setting up a music PR agency to interviews with crowdfunding experts and successful local accountancy firms about their start up journey.

This is particularly interesting as it is our alumni that share their stories and advice.

For students and graduates who want the inside track from employers about the world of work

Gradcracker is one of the most well-known careers websites for STEM in the UK. You can find internships, placements and graduate roles, create your own dashboard (like LinkedIn) and research different sectors and companies.

The Gradcracker Podcast expands on this with the team discussing all things Careers with graduates in the workplace as well as hosting specialist series’ with various employers. Most recently we learnt all about the Royal Navy, what it is like to work for them, tips for interviews and life as a Royal Navy intern. We’ve also heard from Tesco, Proctor & Gamble, and CGG; with their graduates sharing their experience of work as well as advice on the recruitment process they went through.

For those who are interested in academia and want to understand more about Higher Education

WonkHE is well known within HE as a place to go for commentary about the hot topics in our sector.  They bring together members from our community to discuss HE policy and analysis in many forms, including weekly or daily briefings, articles and events.

The podcast platform The Wonkhe Show is their weekly roundup of everything going on in HE. Recent topics has included graduation, student experience, Graduate Outcomes, mental health, PhD students, China, race issues, and reopening.

For those who want to connect more with the University of Brighton

The University of Brighton podcast started as a way of getting to know key members of staff across the university. Over the last year we’ve heard from a range of staff from the Artistic Director of the University’s Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts, the Deputy Head of Research and Enterprise for the School of Pharmacy in Biomolecular Sciences, and in March our very own Head of Employability, Clare Dawson in a Careers special.

As well as the ‘Catching up with….’ episodes we have also seen one off special podcasts such as Children’s Laureate and writerCressida Cowell who received an honorary degree at our February 2019 graduation ceremonies and more recently various specialists from around the University discussing the coronavirus; be it how we can develop resilience during this time, drug treatments or how COVID-19 is going to impact on UK tourism.

Weekly topics also include celebrations of big events happening across the university such as the recent Graduate Shows and discussions about important campaigns such as Mental Health awareness week.

Hope you find these as interesting as I do, happy listening!


Katherine Whittaker • 07/07/2020

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