Benefits & Limitations of College Career Centers

You’ve invested years and countless thousands of dollars supporting your child to adulthood. My husband and I did the same. Yet few graduates are prepared to face the job market even with the help from college career centers.  Graduates often lack practiced skills to build a professional network or identify jobs that establish a strategic foundation to their career. They aren’t confidently prepared for interviews or know how to authentically sell themselves. They have limited experience with offer negotiations. Why does this happen? The career center programs rarely give individual support to students. For personalized support for a job search, it is best to have a career coach.

Value of College Career Centers

With programs at College Career Centers, students answer the question “What profession do I want?” There might be group workshops for writing a resume or interview preparation. Students connect to companies at career fairs planned by the Career Center. Students definitely benefit from the career fairs, yet only a fraction will get an internship or a post-graduation job offer.

The counselors at College Career Centers are dedicated and passionate talent professionals. They are skilled at career assessment and career counseling. But they are also understaffed and overworked. Therefore, most College Career Centers focus on programs, not individual student support.

Missing Element of Most College Career Centers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, people change jobs twelve times in their lifetime.  And millennials will change their careers three to seven times in their lifetime.  A solid grasp on job hunting skills will be some of the most frequently used skills during a career. With the focus on programs for large groups of students, many College Career Centers do not develop career launch and job search skills for individual students. Students rarely get hands-on coaching and training  in order to confidently and efficiently start their career. 

Another shortcoming of most college career centers is that the counselors have limited experience inside companies / organizations. They haven’t been corporate recruiters. Not understanding how organizations recruit makes it difficult to give relevant and specific advice to students.

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