If you saw my raw letter to university professors about what they should include in a semester curriculum you know I feel most schools are NOT preparing students for a career.
I’ve zig-zagged the country and been to a number of career centers, and visited with many career services directors. I have a strong opinion about the disservice college students are getting at traditional schools and online colleges, especially with today’s “new” career model. Unfortunately, not many schools have strong job placement programs like William Penn University. (if your school does, leave a comment and tell us which school it is)
It’s not necessarily the fault of the career center (generally speaking, they are trying really hard!), or the fault of the professors (who usually don’t care about anything outside of what they are “supposed” to teach), but it is a major problem.
I personally feel the level of education is not up to par (maybe that’s simply because of my own college experiences (two different universities, a CIS undergraduate and an MBA))… maybe I’m just a pessimistic whiner.
Nonetheless, I think things need to change.
What should change?
Check out Thom Singer’s post about how freshman are courted by the career center, and of course graduating students are courted by the career center, but what happens to the sophomores and juniors?
In his post, Networking and the College Student – Sophomore Year Experience (SYE), he writes:
I spoke recently to a “Young Professionals Organization” and found these career-minded twenty-somethings actively taking notes and asking questions. Many had an “Ah-Ha” look on their faces as I explained how networking really worked. Misconceptions stripped away, the group was excited to attend future networking events, instead of grimacing at the thought. One women queried why “networking skills” were never taught at her college. She was mad that her expensive education left out this powerful part of her success toolbox.
I know some of you think that this stuff is 100% on the student and the parents… and that college is a more pure learning environment.
But why not include stuff in the university experience about personal branding, networking, career management, etc?
If that’s not part of an education, what is?
Wouldn’t it have been awesome if that was part of the education for all of these public school teachers who are getting laid off … they have no idea what to do because they spent their entire time learning how to teach kids in school, and now they are deer-in-the-headlights because they are faced with a situation they never, ever thought they would be in.
No discipline is immune from career management issues, and this should be interwoven much more into the education we pay for.
Did you know? A new breed of online distance learning universities such as Kaplan Open Learning are helping to bridge the gap between college and careers guidance – taking great care in providing the next step for its graduates.