A new study by the Career Advisory Board that was conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) finds career center professionals regard graduates as “academically prepared, but not marketplace ready.”
Of the college career center directors surveyed, 56% cite students’ lack of interest in formal career preparation and professional development as barriers to successfully finding a job. The survey found that career center professionals believe the biggest obstacle for students in finding a job after graduation is their unrealistic expectations of the amount of effort and motivation it takes to get a job.
Previous surveys by NACE show students simply don’t use the career center.
In their Benchmark 2011 report, a survey of seniors showed that over 60% either NEVER went to the career center or visited less than twice! Surveys by TalentMarks show 95% of grads do not have a written job search plan and the average grad spends 5 or less hours a week on their job search.
Because grads are clueless on how to find a job!
They haven’t invested any time to learn how to network, how to use social media to build an online presence, how to interview or even the basics of creating a resume. As a result, they not only make a poor first impression for themselves, but employers are going to be less likely to look at other candidates at their college.
Could this have some impact on why, according to the Associated Press, approximately 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 are jobless or underemployed in the United States?
We think so!
Because colleges do not require students to invest time in exploring careers and learning job search skills and strategies, they don’t do it. However, studies show students that frequent the career center not only get jobs faster, but they receive higher pay.
Parents can’t abdicate their responsibility to guide their kids through the career planning process. Contrary to what they may think, the college is not focused in this area. The career center is only one of 300 clubs on your student’s campus. And with limited resources, a culture that is more focused on social activities, curriculum and sports, it’s nearly impossible for them to build excitement and a sense of urgency about building career strategies.
Believe me, this is one area you will know better than your kids. Take the time to sit down with your son or daughter and help them write out a plan on how they will build their career strategy their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year.
I guarantee you, that if you don’t, your student has an 80% chance of being unemployed on graduation day.
This post was provided by Don Philabaum, the Founder of www.yourcollegecareercenter.com, who was a guest on College Smart Radio on September 22nd, 2012.
Photo credit: USACE Public Affairs