Clamoring for More Career-Readiness via the Institution

While students report that they are increasingly satisfied with their overall college experience (79 percent in 2016, compared to 65 percent in 2014), an increasing percentage report that they would have preferred their schools to provide:

  • More internships and professional experiences (67 percent in 2016, compared to 59 percent in 2014).
  • More time to focus on career preparation (59 percent in 2016, compared to 47 percent in 2014).
  • Better access to career preparation tools (47 percent in 2016, compared to 38 percent in 2014).
  • More alumni networking opportunities (34 percent in 2016, compared to 22 percent in 2014).

Students Themselves Focusing More on Career Prep 

According to the report, college students are more focused on preparing for their careers than they were just a few years ago:

  • 71 percent of college students now report that planning for a rewarding career while they are in college is “extremely important,” compared to 66 percent in 2014.
  • More than 61 percent report that they have pursued a major that will help them to secure a job after graduation, compared to just 48 percent in 2014.

Hedging on “Soft Skills” and Majors

In planning for their job search, students value their “soft skills,” but indicate that those skills could be developed further:

  • When asked to identify skills that make them attractive job seekers, students are more likely to cite their interpersonal skills (78 percent) than any other attribute, including grades/GPA (67 percent), a degree in a marketable field (67 percent) and internship experience (60 percent).
  • The majority say they haven’t learned how to network or search for a job (59 percent) or how to conduct themselves in a job interview (58 percent) during college.

A significant portion of students also says they are unsure their major will help them get a job:

  • Two in five say they are happy with their major but are unsure that it will get them a job when they graduate, and 22 percent say choosing a more relevant major would make them feel more prepared for their professional career.
  • Only 41 percent report that skills in their major are in high demand, and only 20 percent say companies often recruit graduates of their major directly out of college.

Technology Seen as Beneficial for Career-Readiness

Some students see benefits of classroom technology that extend far beyond the classroom:

  • 85 percent of college students feel that having used technology in classes or to study has helped to make them a better job candidate, and 89 percent use study technologies at least occasionally.
  • Business and Economics majors are most likely (65 percent) to frequently use study technologies, defined as any digital or online program or application that allows you to learn classroom concepts.

Many more findings, as well as methodology and detailed infographics can be found on the report’s homepage here.

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.

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