Whether students are in their first year of college, they’re getting ready to graduate, or they’ve returned to take a course or two that will help them change or advance in their careers, many are there to get themselves ready for today’s job market. Most colleges offer career services and career development help that will start them off on the right foot.
As part of our Spring 2015 Student Engagement Insights survey, we asked college students: “What career-prep resources does your college offer you?” and, “Which career-prep resources have you used?” Read what they had to say!
The career services students know they’ll find on campus
On a list of several career services typically offered on college campuses, the largest percentage of students (71%) indicated that their schools offered help with résumés, cover letters, and interviews, as well as career fairs.
Both career fairs and the school’s career center open the door for students to learn what types of jobs might be available to them, and also identify employers in the locations where they might like to work (whether near camp us or afar). At these locations and events, they can also connect with people who can help them on their way. (On that note, 56% of students said that their schools offer networking resources, and 53% offer career workshops.)
Internships can play an important role in students’ training and education for the workforce. Sixty percent of students said they were aware that their schools have internship programs that could get students connected with internship experiences are relevant to the careers in which they’re interested.
Less than half of the students surveyed were aware of work experience opportunities (49%), reference materials (45%), career-prep courses (40%), and job-placement services (40%). Does your school offer these resources? If so, you may want to promote them more frequently, to ensure that students know that they have access to these incredibly valuable services. Consider working with your campus librarian, career advisers, college success instructors, and others, who can help communicate the value to students.
Which services do students use most frequently?
In general, students have a fairly good awareness of the career services that their campuses offer. However, only 35% or less of our surveyed students have made use of these resources.
Among the resources named above, the campus career center (35%) and help with resumes, cover letters, and interviews (35%) were the most frequently used, closely followed by networking opportunities (33%) and career fairs (32%).
What steps will students take to learn more about careers? A quarter of students stated that they make use of the reference materials available to them, while 22% said they’ve attended a workshop. Only 15% said they’ve taken a career-prep course.
Though many students were aware that their schools offer work experience, internships, and job placement services, only 19%, 17%, and 8% of surveyed students (respectively) engage themselves in these opportunities. It may be that none of the available openings apply to their major, or that they’re simply electing not to participate in or take advantage of them. (Want to encourage more of your students to take on an internship? Share our posts on finding the perfect internship and making the most of an internship with them.) It could also be that students aren’t quite ready to
Other career services students find on campus
In responding to our questions, students also listed some of the other career resources and services available to them. Among those listed included:
- Alumni events, such as reunions
- Guest lectures by visiting professionals
- One-on-one conversations with professors and other mentoring opportunities
- Community service
- Job shadowing
- E-mail newsletters with job advice and opportunities
- Professional clubs and organizations
- Prep courses for professional and licensing exams
- Leadership courses and seminars