Here are the ugly facts:
- 80 percent of students say that job prospects are a key reason why they choose to go to college/choose a particular college.
- However, only 35 percent of students nearing graduation feel prepared for a career by senior year.
- And, only 20% of students nationwide make use of their career services/advising office during their time at college.
This is according to a Gallup/Strada joint poll recently quoted in The Atlantic magazine.
Affluent students shared that they typically network with family and friends. First generation students often lack these contacts and are left high and dry if they don’t access their college/university’s resources. On a bright note, 50 percent of all students network at some point with their professors, staff in their department, and/or fellow students. However, those staff, faculty and friends have no formal training for advising students. So, these students may gain insight or networking leads, but they are still lacking in the concrete training for basics like a strong resume and networking tools such as emails, phone and face-to-face meeting skills.
I often write about how where you go to college matters less than what you make of it. Since many if not most families see a college education as THE gateway to a job/career, it does beg the question, shouldn’t your child have some kind of introduction to a career planning strategy before they matriculate and during the four years? Why pay for a college education if job access is a major component of what you seek and your child does not have the insight, motivation, or know-how to access career advice? How will they develop the plan that will allow them to attain the ultimate brass ring from their four years of hard work in a college or university setting? Much of my career consulting is based on giving students and their families a short, affordable tutorial on how to have a great time in college while pursuing the building blocks that will lead to a successful career plan as they reach graduation. We start with baby steps and during the four years we can revist, augment and expand on the plan as the student’s maturity coalesces and their interests and talents become more fleshed out.