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Monday, January 22, 2018

Faculty, Staff Can Influence Career Readiness

About a third of college students leave school feeling unprepared for the workplace, according to a new survey. One way institutions can help is by making officials and faculty aware that initiating contact with students about their career readiness makes a big difference.

Researchers found that students who had a conversation with at least one instructor or staff member were more likely to feel ready to begin their careers. About 40% of those students said they were confident they would graduate with the necessary skills to be successful in the job market.

When faculty or staff failed to initiate the career conversation, just 25% of students said they were convinced they would find success in the job market.

“We tend to think in higher ed, that’s the job of career services,” said Carol D’Amico, executive vice president of mission advancement and philanthropy for Strada Education. “Well, we learned that most students don’t access the career services department, so it’s really everybody’s job at the university or college.”

More than 32,000 current students from 43 four-year institutions selected at random participated in the survey, conducted by Gallupand the Strada Education Network. The schools ranged from large public universities to small liberal arts colleges, but for-profit institutions were not included.

The study also reported that 62% of students earning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees strongly agreed that they would find a good job. Just 40% of liberal arts majors and 51% of business majors felt the same way.

“If I was still a chancellor … I would be concerned by that and I’d want to know about my own students,” said D’Amico, a former chancellor for Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. “This is a nationally representative sample so I think they should want to know where their students stack up.”

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