College trains sophomores on how to land a job
- Hendrix College in Arkansas offers its sophomores career training during the institution’s winter break —including tips from alumni and even the college's president — to help students get a find jobs after graduation, according to Inside Higher Education.
- The idea for the program came as Hendrix officials considered how to use campus facilities during the break, along with ways they could meet the need for job acquisition workshops that the college’s career services department had been planning.
- This year about 50 students returned early from vacation to hear about basic career-search skills such as writing a resume, dressing professionally, handling job interviews and searching for internships. The college intends to offer the workshop to the entire sophomore class in 2020.
Hendrix College President Bill Tsutsui says the practical workshop is in line with his philosophy that liberal arts institutions don’t need to dramatically change what they offer to produce job-ready graduates, but should provide skills that help in the workplace. “I have a feeling in 30 years we’re going to look back and laugh at the boom in cybersecurity,” he told Inside Higher Education.
Students feel concerned about their ability to find jobs, but 40% say they never visited their college’s career center, according to a study from Gallup and Strada Educational Network.
An expert from Strada says while liberal arts students may feel particularly vulnerable in the employment market, they can be very competitive if they identify gaps in their job skills and take courses in fields outside their major to make them more attractive to employers.
Those skills may be important in a competitive job market, according to two leading business magazines. Forbes reports that the National Association of Employers estimates there have been job openings for 5% more new college graduates this year compared to last year, but that many graduates “lack both practical work experience as well as soft skills…you need to land a job.” Inc magazine also described a gap in soft skills among college graduates, including public speaking. Both offer tips for preparing graduates.
A veteran educator who has written more than 200 books and articles about college students getting into the careers they want, says they must be aware that they have to clearly show potential employers strong qualities upfront, particularly that they are “motivated, enthusiastic, committed and goal-oriented” and have strong interpersonal and critical-thinking skills.
A recent survey of high school students from the College Savings Foundation showed that students would like to learn more about jobs and get skills training, and two other studies showed that such instruction is important.
- Inside Higher Education Walking in a Winter 'Workerland'