College admissions are highly competitive, and the cost of college is higher than ever before. How can it be that a college degree is no longer enough? Is Graduate School your only option?
Colleges are falling short in preparing their students to get hired. We hear so many of today’s students and recent graduates complaining about the lack of jobs and the low salaries offered by companies hiring people with certain majors. College graduates often opt for a job where they are significantly underemployed, either because they can’t find an appropriate job with their credentials or because those jobs may pay substantially less than jobs that don’t require a college degree.
It’s time for a mindset change. Here are 3 practical ways you can successfully launch your career.
In a previous blog post, I wrote about skills first hiring and college students being ready for today’s marketplace. While a liberal arts education builds strong communication skills and produces agile thinkers, it is essential to blend those skills with technical training. Are you nimble with Excel? Do you know any data visualization tools? Have you used AI enough to understand its applications in the workplace? One way to accomplish this blended approach is to combine your liberal arts major with a more technical minor to give you a combination of broader thinking styles combined with specific technical skills that employers now require.
Employers of recent college grads place a strong emphasis on practical work experience. Internships can teach you workplace skills that will greatly strengthen your resume and prepare you to get hired at graduation. But all internships are not created equal and having an “internship” on your resume doesn’t automatically increase your chances of getting hired at graduation. Look for companies that offer robust internship programs, with mentoring and on-the-job training. You will learn skills that are valued in the workplace, enable you to build your professional network, and help you stand out as a candidate for a full-time job. It is certainly a plus if the company views their internship program as a pipeline to a full-time position at graduation.
Today, there are so many online courses available. Try to look at the sectors where jobs are available and do your homework. Learn what skills are required to get hired. You can research online options and there are many ranging from courses that are a few hours to more extensive, longer-term bootcamps. Your library may have free access to sites such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy for these courses. Many educational sites offer certificates that attest to your level of achievement and give an employer confidence in your skillset.
At Priority Candidates, we get so many inquiries from parents of students or grads that have no idea what they want to do. We can, and do, help those people. Before you jump to the conclusion that graduate school is your only option consider looking more deeply at your current skills. We offer a data-based career assessment program that aligns our clients with specific jobs that are at least a 75% match for their interests, behaviors, and thinking styles. It not only provides our clients with confidence and direction but from there, we can then build a targeted skill building program coupled with a career coaching PLAN that will position you to get hired.
I am so happy that Michael has been working with you! He has tremendous respect for you and your approach, and the whole team. It’s been incredibly reassuring for him, and me, to have the support.
Parent of Recent Grad
Employed by Major Sofware As A Service Company