More than 60% of employers rate candidate skills and experience as the most important factor in their hiring decisions.
And how do college students prepare for the job market in that context?
That's right. Career centers.
Since their role in shaping career outcomes for students is so critical, Hiration is launching HirEd, a campaign focusing on career centers serving higher education in the US - their contributions, challenges, and scope in a new future defined by ever-evolving industries and AI.
This first article in the series will explore the critical role that career services play in higher education, the resources and support that they offer to students, and why they are essential for success in the US job market.
Whether you are a seasoned director or an entry-level career services professional, you can revisit the foundations of career services with us and ensure that your team is providing the best possible support to your students.
So, let us dive into the world of career services and unlock the power of this critical component of higher education.
- What are the purposes of career services?
- What is the concept of career services?
- Career services post COVID and AI
- Why do we need career services?
Career services aim to bridge the gap between students and employers by providing them with the necessary resources and support to navigate the complex professional arena.
Though career centers may go by different names across the United States, they all offer a range of services and programs to students, involving assistance in resume and cover letter, interview coaching, job search strategies, career fairs, networking events, and more.
These services are designed to help students identify their skills and interests, explore different career paths, and connect with potential employers.
This highlights the critical role that career services play in helping students gain the skills and experience needed to secure employment after graduation.
In addition to helping students prepare for the job market, career services also provide employers with access to a diverse pool of talented and motivated candidates.
By building strong partnerships with employers, career services offices can facilitate job and internship opportunities that are tailored to the needs and interests of their students.
Career services teams work closely with students throughout their academic journey, starting with freshman orientation and continuing through graduation and beyond.
They offer workshops, seminars, and events that are tailored to each student's needs and goals.
The teams also collaborate with employers to bring job and internship opportunities to campus, and they provide students with the skills and resources they need to succeed in their chosen career paths.
Career Centers Post COVID & AI
According to a combined study by Florida State University Career Center and NACE, career services became instrumental in helping students find employment after graduation, especially post COVID-19 pandemic.
Therefore, many career services teams have adapted to the changing US job market by offering virtual services and resources. This includes virtual job fairs, online workshops, remote advising sessions, and support for mental health and wellness during the job search process.
Additionally, by collaborating with AI-powered career services tools, career services teams are able to provide students with more comprehensive and tailored support, ultimately leading to better outcomes in the US job market.
AI-powered career services tools can provide valuable insights to students, such as personalized job recommendations and feedback on their resumes and cover letters.
Pamela Cooper, Illinois State University’s career services director, says the programs offered by their department are an attempt to help students develop a growth mindset.
"Most students come to college either not knowing what they want to do, or they get to their major and start taking courses and say, 'Oh heck no, I don't want to do that anymore,'" she says. "So there's a huge demand for this kind of support."
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on a global level, with many industries experiencing layoffs and hiring freezes.
As a result, career services have had to adapt quickly to provide students with resources and support for navigating the job market during this challenging time.
Through career services, students are able to explore their career interests, gain valuable skills and experience through internships and co-op programs, and develop the confidence they need to succeed in their chosen field.
Source: Inside HigherEd
Also, with the rise of remote work, it has become increasingly important for career services to provide resources and support for students seeking remote job opportunities.
This includes helping students navigate the job search process for remote positions, developing virtual networking opportunities, and providing guidance on how to succeed in a remote work environment.
The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) conducted a study titled Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success, in which they concluded that 93% of employers agree that both specific knowledge and a broad range of skills are necessary for advancement and long-term career success.
By providing students with the tools and resources they need to succeed, career services help to ensure that the next generation of professionals is well-prepared to meet these demands of the workforce.
While the first article broadly talked about the role of college career centers in the US, and how they help both students and employers, we'll now dive deeper and try to understand the challenges they are facing.
The subsequent articles will then fully dissect each challenge in detail, in the hopes of bringing the career services community together and finding solutions to those obstacles.
Since AI tools are disrupting every industry, career services aren't far away either. It's the need of the hour to join hands and help all generations of students and professionals better navigate the increasingly complex yet promising future.
PS: Here's the second article in the series that reviews all the key challenges facing career services teams. Check it out and let us know your feedback!