Guest post by Michael Sherman, Graduate to Employment
Selecting a college is a time of transition. There are so many things to consider when deciding which school is the right choice for your child: curriculum, geography, size, cost, student population, public or private…. The list of decision points seems to get bigger and more complicated every year. As you plot out your college visits during this time of transition, remember to be mindful of another transition that will take place four years from now: the transition from college to the workforce. It’s important to understand how effective the schools on your list are at helping their students find meaningful work upon graduation.
According to a new Gallup-Purdue University study of 30,000 former students who graduated from schools across the county between 2010 and 2016, only 17% found their college career centers to be “very helpful” in assisting them in finding jobs. This is unacceptable. When you consider that the cost of a college education at a four-year private school runs close to $300,000 and that 71% of graduates owe an average of $36,000 in student loans, it has never been more critical to find meaningful employment at the conclusion of your college experience. The ability of a college to assist in your child in their job search should be a key part of their school selection criteria.
Questions to be raised during your campus visits should include:
- How large is the staff of your career center?
- What percent of students graduate with a job?
- How does your school work to assist their students in finding jobs?
- What employers regularly recruit from your school?
- How do you work with alumni to support current students in their job search?
- At what point do you become involved with students and their post-graduation job search?
- Does your career center continue to support unemployed graduates?
With over two million college seniors looking to transition into the workforce each spring, it has never been more competitive for graduates to find the right job. Therefore, when evaluating schools, make sure you think ahead to that other—and, some would argue, even more important—transition that will take place four years from now.
Hear more from Michael about evaluating college career services on his recent appearance on Getting In: A College Coach Conversation.