Equality, diversity and your career: mature students
Find out about advice and support for mature students, career changers and working families.
Mature students and careers
The term 'mature student' covers students from age 21 to pensionable age. Mature students may have a variety of career aspirations and motivations for study, but whatever these are, it’s crucial to remember that you have a wealth of experience that will be highly valued by employers.
When it comes to looking for work experience, placements or graduate jobs, it’s important to be positive in how you present yourself on paper and in-person. Highlight the value of all your experiences including any specific expertise developed through having a previous career or through raising a family for example. Whilst at University, get involved in extra-curricular activities that take you outside of your natural comfort zone to develop your confidence, new networks and social capital (understanding of unspoken rules).
Actively build your professional network by engaging with employers on-campus and talking to Bath Alumni. The groups within LinkedIn will also enable you to expand your professional connections. Be realistic about salary expectations, especially if you are changing careers. Target employers committed to recruiting diversely. Check their Equal Opportunity policies and look at their staff profiles - are they reflective of a diverse workforce?
- Our blog has more guidance on how to market yourself effectively as a mature student
- MyFuture Resources has links to organisations offering advice and support and age-friendly employers
- We run events specifically to support mature students and career changers - find event lists on MyFuture
- Oxford Brookes Careers Service has sample CVs for mature students and advice on how to market yourself effectively
- Working Families
In 2012, detailed research was undertaken for the first time into destinations of older graduates. The report "What happens Next? Age Report" compares the employment outcomes of older graduates with their younger counterparts. You will see from the report, overall destinations of post-25 graduates compared very well with those aged under 25; with the destinations of post-25 graduates exceeding in most categories in terms of numbers in employment, those in graduate level employment and also in terms of salaries earned.
The Equality Act 2010
In 2010, the Equality Act came into effect replacing and consolidating all existing legislation relating to discrimination on the basis of race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and religion and belief with one all-encompassing act.
Discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably because of their age, race, gender, sexuality, disability, and ethnic or national origin. The Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate because of these characteristics.
If you think you may have suffered discrimination on your placement or internship, then in the first instance do speak to a Careers Adviser or your Placement Officer.