As students weigh their options and make decisions about which colleges to attend, an important new factor in their decision-making process is going to be the role a college’s career services department plays. More specifically, which colleges offer real help with career development during college and after graduation?
While you can’t underestimate the value of a good education, in recent years the degree alone hasn’t guaranteed a decent job offer. Even though the labor market seems to be improving, the pace at which it’s moving is slower than desired and the current employment outlook for new college grads could be better.
According to a 2014 Economic Policy Institute report, “For young college graduates, the unemployment rate is currently 8.5 percent (compared with 5.5 percent in 2007), and the underemployment rate is 16.8 percent (compared with 9.6 percent in 2007).”
A well-rounded education and a degree from a good college or university is no longer enough to entice many students to enroll. Parents and students alike want to know that upon college graduation, the probability of getting a good job will outweigh the likelihood of being saddled with monthly student loan payments that equal more than their paychecks. This means that knowing ongoing career help is available will be a major component in deciding which college to attend.
Universities and colleges with the best career services programs will be in higher demand than those who take a back seat approach and cut students loose after handing out degrees. One of the best options for ongoing student support is an alumni mentoring program.
Mentoring provides value to students, alumni and the educational institution. It is a way to engage with local businesses in your community, as well as with worldwide organizations. Businesses can build relationships early with possible future employees; learn more about what skills, talents and personalities work best for them; and aggregate a talent pool. Universities can gain recognition and loyalty, which can lead to more support for additional activities like job fairs and fundraisers, as well as increased student enrollment. Students will gain real world experience, be able to ask questions based in reality and discover more about their own abilities and preferences—not to mention already have a foot in the job market door that may be closed to their counterparts who haven’t had the benefit of a mentoring program. For alumni mentors the value is in sharing experience, giving back to their university, and access to a possibly lucrative direct recruiting channel for their companies.
There are many options for creating a strong alumni mentoring program. Be sure to research ideas that meet with your needs and incorporate mentoring software that will help with scheduling, planning and creating specific programs that outline goals and expectations. Having robust mentoring software that integrates with a larger career services package, allows colleges and universities to provide the career counseling, employer connections, social student profiles, and ongoing analytics needed to ensure that students are prepared for employment during and after graduation in terms of both education and relationships with the right people.
For more information about how to go about setting up and integrating an alumni mentoring program as part of your career services package, please contact us at 888-835-0202 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org