There’s a good deal of talk about change in career services today.
State legislatures, the federal government, the media, parents, students, and even alumni are putting pressure on colleges to invest more time and attention to not just help more students complete the academic guantlet and to reach graduation day, but to obtain gainful employment.
In the two decades I’ve worked in higher education, the two main issues I’ve heard from career center professionals deal are:
- getting students to the career center
- obtaining the resources they need to do their jobs well
While these have appeared to be insurmontable problems in the past decades, a growing number of campuses are finding solutions and taking action – most with support and leadership at the President’s level.
A number of key reports have surfaced that are beginning to put the discussion on the table of the Presidents and Boards of Trustees of colleges and universities.
Farouk Day, Executive Director of Career Services at Stanford University and Christine Y. Cruzvergara, Assistant Dean & Executive Director, University Career Services at George Mason University recently published an article entitled 10 Future Trends in Career Services on LinkedIn that looked at the future trends in career services. In the article, Day and Cruzvergara polished their crystal ball and shared 10 solid predictions of where career services will/should be going in the very near future. I’m excited about their prediction about the use and implementation of resources within the community.
On the other side of the United States, Andy Chan co-authored a summary of opinions and discussions collected from a conference attended by 74 colleges that explored what Career Services departments need to do in order to be relevant to students, alumni, and grads. The comprehensive report, A Roadmap for Transforming the College-To-Career Experience, includes ideas from career thought leaders and is a must-read for anyone on the President’s Council or a Board of Trustees
Also, on the other side of the pond in the United Kingdom, Lucy Hawkins, a career advisor at the University of Oxford, echoed the need for change and offered insights concerning how institutions can better meet the needs and wants of their constituents.
So, as Bob Dylan says in his timeless lyrics The Times, They are A-Changin’, change is in the air, and it’s global!
As a result, today–more than ever–an increasing number of campuses are:
- Starting to reorganize their curriculums and campuses around what students want: jobs.
- Acknowledging their responsibilities and commitments to not only prepare students with the soft skills they will need for their first professional jobs, but to also provide the job search skills to land those jobs.
- Investing in staff and ramping up resources that back up their commitments to create more career-centered college campuses.
- Realigning career services under different departments in an attempt to be more reactive and responsive to customer needs.
- Building bridges between their alumni and Career Services Departments and focusing on fostering mentoring, internships, and jobs.
- Developing more 24/7/365 career services in the cloud so students, grads, and alumni can access them anytime, through any device.
Everyone I’ve talked to has expressed the need to get the support and engagement from faculty, administrators, alumni, parents, and yes, even employers.
To add to the discussion, I wrote and published a book last year, titled:
Change It! Create a Career Centered College Culture
In Change It!, I define a career-centered college culture as:
A philosophy and process that puts a student’s career at the center of every campus activity, event, or course and, one that is supported by students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and hiring authorities.
Readers are immersed in ideas and concepts that have bubbled up at conferences, in phone calls, and personal visits that I have had over the past four years, as well as being educated about surveys, polls, and the writing and speeches of industry thought leaders. Change It! also reflects articles and concepts discussed in my this blog. Stitched together, they present a huge collection of ideas inspired by career professionals like you.
My goal in writing Change It! was to give career professionals a platform they could use to jump start discussions on campus to create more career-centered college campuses. I’m hoping the outcome results in more students:
- Taking ownership of their careers
- Landing internships
- Networking with alumni
- Getting jobs before graduation day
…and I’m hoping the book catches upper management’s attention and results in an increase in funding, staffing, and resources for the career center.
You already have a number of ideas you’ve been wanting to implement that have the potential to increase career ownership on your campus. You can use these ideas and concepts as a way to build a framework around a comprehensive solution that gets the attention of management.
If you want to move your campus in this direction, join our webinar series where we will feature industry thought leaders who are successfully implementing these changes. You will learn more about proven ideas that give you direction about how to get:
- Management on board, and
- Faculty actively involved
…but, more importantly you will learn how to get where you need to be faster and with less effort.
To learn more about the upcoming webinars…