What’s wrong with busy college students placing a priority on their studies?
Well, when they graduate they may find that learning how to get a job wasn’t part of their curriculum, says Edwin Koc, director of strategic and foundation research at the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
In a recent NACE survey of directors of career centers at colleges and universities, 56 percent of respondents said that students’ lack of interest in career preparation is keeping them from finding a good job.
“Many students don’t visit their career center until late in their senior year when they’re facing graduation,” Koc observes. “They view classwork as their primary responsibility and their primary advisor as their academic advisor.”
Nearly all colleges offer career services that include counseling on what jobs are available to students with certain skills, Koc explains. Career centers also typically help students in crafting resumes and interview preparation. If they visit early, they might be counseled to take classes that they’re not otherwise drawn to, but need for gainful employment.
Julian Alssid, executive director of the non-profit Workforce Strategy Center, also advocates early career counseling. Counseling doesn’t have to detract from purely academic interests, he argues. “You can still pursue philosophy or any other subject of interest, but you need to integrate that with internships, or courses, or even certificate programs that can prepare you for a job.”
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