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What are transferable skills and why are they important?

Transferable skills are core skills which are of value in a wide range of situations, subjects & jobs. Find out what a research project can do for you
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VOICEOVER: Transferable skills are core skills, which are of value in a wide range of situations, subjects and jobs. Due to the fact that many of these skills aren’t actually subject specific, they’re not always developed directly by study, but are often actually honed through a variety of activities. Undertaking a research project is one such activity. And it will give you the opportunity to develop a wide range of transferable skills, which will be of considerable help to you in your future studies or in whatever chosen field of employment you may go into.
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The sorts of things that are considered transferable skills are having self-awareness, being able to communicate clearly with others, having initiative, demonstrating competence with IT, showing commitment to seeing things through to the end, being able to work independently, knowing how to tackle problems when they arise rather than becoming disheartened and giving up, managing those all important and dreaded deadlines, numeracy, being able to lead others as well as being part of a team, presenting your ideas in a way that others can follow and understand, knowing how to undertake research and find evidence, thinking critically and asking the pertinent questions, analysing evidence and making judgments on the results, bringing enthusiasm to tasks, using a foreign language, being flexible and open-minded, knowing how to network and introduce yourself to others, responding positively to new challenges, being decisive, having business acumen and being proactive.
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Through the course of an academic research project, you’ll have the chance to practise and develop many of these skills, along with numerous subject-specific skills related to whatever it is you choose to study.

Transferable skills are core skills which are of value in a wide range of situations, subjects and jobs.

Due to the fact that many of these skills are not subject-specific, they are not always developed directly by study, but are often honed through a variety of activities. Undertaking a research project is one such activity and gives you the opportunity to develop a wide range of transferable skills which will be of considerable help to you in your further studies or in your chosen field of employment, whatever that may be.

In this video, the team introduces you to a wide variety of skills which you could develop through undertaking a research project.

Through the course of an academic research project, you’ll have the chance to practice and develop many of these skills, along with a wide range of subject-specific skills related to whatever you choose to study.

Which of the skills mentioned in the video do you think will be most useful for you to develop?

Further information about understanding your skills is provided by the University of Southampton Careers and Employability Service. This will help you think about the skills you have and those you might develop on your research project, and how this can help you demonstrate your employability and plan your future career.

Why not conduct a ‘skills audit’? This can help you think about the skills you’ve developed during your research, how to develop them further, and how to present them on a CV.

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Developing Your Research Project

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