Volunteering can most certainly help you get a job. There is a growing trend among universities to produce graduates that are practically prepared for the workplace and fully equipped to lead in every sector.
Universities are now discovering the importance of developing students outside of the academic context to achieve this goal. To this end more institutions are incorporating community work or volunteering into their programmes.
According to a report from University World News, public service is a critical element in individual growth and institutions are finding that student engagement is key to leadership skills development.
Roleplayers in the education sector are seeing the multiple benefits of student engagement and are looking for more innovative ways to practically involve young learners in the world around them.
'A paper by Alberto Dávila and Marie T Mora found a positive link between community service and academic performance, with students engaged in school-required community service 22% more likely to graduate from college than those who did not, and with students performing voluntary community service 19% more likely to graduate.'
These are positive results at a time when university pass rates are low, particularly among first year students.
In South Africa there is already an increased focus on offering hands-on training as opposed to strictly theory-based courses.
This trend is not exclusive to the higher education landscape. Businesses are also contributing to this shift by offering internships, learnerships, and a range of practical work opportunities.
Can volunteer work lead to a job?
Potential employers are always looking for CV's that stand out. They want someone that takes initiative, drives change and is forward-thinking. By volunteering, you bridge that gap and increase your chances of finding a new job.
Perhaps by placing a greater emphasis on community service and volunteering, South Africa can also improve the quality of graduates entering the world of work.