New Study Suggests Grads ‘Academically Prepared but Not Marketplace Ready’

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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 jobs.

The survey found that career center professionals believe the biggest obstacle for students in finding jobs after graduation is their unrealistic expectations of the amount of effort and motivation it takes to get jobs. 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!

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!

A survey TalentMarks did of graduates found that 95% did not have a written job search strategy and 60% of grads spent 5 or less hours a week on their job searches. In our discussions with graduates the principal reason they did not spend more time on their job searches is that they exhausted their options and didn’t know what else to do!  With limited job search knowledge, the typical grad will post a bunch of resumes on job boards, sigh and then resign themselves to the fact that they did everything they could to get a job that day!


They did everything they knew how and it was not enough!

Career center professionals suggest the job search process does not have to be difficult if students utilize the resources the career center has and plan ahead.

One of the suggestions career professionals had for students is to seek guidance in developing job search skills and job search strategies. An overwhelming 80% of the career center directors believe individual career coaching is the most effective resource available for students. They suggest students conduct practice interviews with a coach or career services professional to learn the appropriate level of formality and insightful feedback on skills and experience.

Another suggestion was to consult resources and invest time in learning how to develop the skills they will need to get jobs, as well as review expert materials on transitioning from college to career including books, articles, DVDs, and blogs.

This survey supports the premise in our white paper, Create a Career Center College Campus and Culture, where we suggest the college requires students to invest time in their careers. It also supports the premise of my new book, The Unemployed Grad, And What Parents Can Do About It. Assuming a college cannot turn on a dime and begin to require students to invest time in career development, it’s up to the parents to step in and require their students to take ownership of their careers the minute they get on campus.

Pick up a copy of our white paper and find out more on how you can engage your parents to require students to take ownership of their careers the minute they get on campus by clicking on the above titles!

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Don Philabaum
Love to find ways to use technology help more grads and alumni develop successful career strategies.
Don Philabaum
Don Philabaum
Don Philabaum

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