SHRM we know next

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“Career Counseling, Not College, Being Scrutinized

An April 19, 2012, survey report titled Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers, commissioned by university and business leaders convened by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and Educational Testing Service (ETS), calls for such changes in graduate education’s link to the workforce. Results of surveyed students show that only slightly more than one-third of them believe that they had received “as much information as needed” to understand their career options prior to entering graduate school.

The report also noted that employers should “enhance and expand collaborative relationships” with their higher education counterparts and that many students still don’t have a firm grasp of the job opportunities available to them.

“To date, there has been little research to identify whether graduate students understand the relationship between their studies and future career options,” said Cathy Wendler, principal director of research at ETS and co-author of the report. “If we can illuminate career pathways, we will ensure that students have a map or framework within which to make informed choices, employers will understand key factors integral to employee and employer success and universities will be able to adapt and improve programs to better meet workforce demands.”

“Simply put, we’re failing kids coming out of college. We’re going to need a lot better job growth and connections to the labor market,” Sum told the Associated Press, emphasizing that when it comes to jobs, a college major can make all the difference.

Combine that with a labor market that has experienced steady but unspectacular growth in early 2012, and the immediate future looks cloudy for some college graduates. But this speaks more to the selection of a major that is in high demand for jobs than to dismissing the value of a college education altogether.” Read More:


Do College Career Centers actually work? I’ve been asking myself this question ever since I was in undergrad from 2004 – 2008 at a prominent, flagship state university.

I’ve seen so many of my friends graduate school with high academic marks in their field but find that life after graduation is a brick wall or employment in their industry is a castle surrounded by a moat of nasty alligators. I’ve spoken at Universities, Colleges, Networking Events, Panel Discussions, and even wrote a book about job search. And I keep coming to the same conclusion…

…Either colleges and universities aren’t doing enough to connect the dots between college and career or these great career counselors have bad Marketing and PR strategies. College students and young professionals still feel disconnected and distant from their end goal of career satisfaction and purpose.

I would like to see better trained Career Counselors. Cookie-Cutter advice from anytime before let’s say…. 2005 and passing along comments that you might find on a Twitter chat aren’t enough. College students need to speak with actual HR professionals and recruiters in addition to university officials who may have never spent a day in the recruiting or HR ranks. This method may work for the Armed Services but it does not work with Corporate America. Career Counselors give you advice to make you competent but they don’t give you advice to make you competitive. College students are competing with domestic students, international students, seasoned domestic professionals, seasoned international professionals and even technology that is making some jobs obsolete. Students need all the assistance they can get to get a lift and foot in the door.

I’d also like to see a greater connection between the academics and Corporate America. More internships, mentor relationships and match-making and professional development embedded in college coursework – not just academic progression. If there were a greater connection between these two bookends then there would surely be less job-hopping.

The reality about colleges that pride themselves on placing students into great jobs and internships? Many times these placements are based on long-standing relationships built between the university and the employer, not the result of any one particular standout student who took tips from their career counselor. I’ve seen recruiters and hiring managers make employment decisions based heavily on the strength of the name of the school the candidate attended. If a similarly equipped candidate were in front of these decision makers then the job seeker might not have been so lucky. This is a clear result of the value of the brand of the institution and not the ability of the career counselors to prepare the students for success.

My $0.02… for what it’s worth. What are your thoughts?

Joey V. Price,MS, PHR
CEO, Jumpstart:HR | Managed HR Services
Author, “Never Miss the Mark: Career Search Strategies Provided By HR Pros