What is the problem with college career centers?
According to technology platform, Vocate, there are more than 20M college students in America. Student debt is skyrocketing. The average borrower has $37k in debt and that number is growing 6 percent each year. 11 percent of borrowers are currently in default.
Even worse, nearly 80 percent of students graduate without a job, says Vocate. Fewer than 5 percent receive jobs through campus centers.
“Colleges have too many students and are connected with too few jobs to land positions for all of them. Furthermore, their career centers often have misaligned incentives,” notes the platform. “They tend to partner with large employers like big banks and tech firms, and help the 5 percent of each class get jobs. The companies will in turn pay them to get the most qualified applications. This deal leaves the remaining 95 percent of students without opportunities.”
Vocate continues, explaining that, moreover, career centers are squarely situated in the college bubble. Many students are too burned out from classes and clubs to seek career center help. Even if they do, they don’t get great, universal advice.
All of this results in career centers being incredibly unpopular with college students. Vocate did a survey of about 15,000 college students and found that the average NPS score of career centers was -39.
On the other end of the hiring funnel, employers are also disillusioned with career centers. Employers are poorly served by job boards and campus career centers that send them thousands of mismatched applicants. Outdated processes, expectations of immense spend, high applicant volume, and large time commitment make junior-level recruiting costs $10-15K per hire. Many companies don’t bother; those that do have poor outcomes.
What does Vocate do differently?
Vocate is a technology platform that aims to make entry-level and university hiring simple, targeted, and cost-effective. The platform replaces what it states are “ineffective career centers and job boards as the source for junior talent.”
Employers only see candidates once they’ve been pre-qualified for genuine interest and relevant skills. With an applicant-to-job opportunity ratio of under 10:1, students are not lost in the sea of applicants or the top 1 percent of academic performers.
Vocate’s free product also aims to help students reach the vast majority of employers in the economy that do not send large teams to career fairs.
The product delivers three key services: self-discovery, career discovery, and skill development. The product takes students on pathways that help them make choices while also evaluating them. As students either demonstrate or become more qualified, they unlock jobs that are well suited to their interests.
Vocate also offers free, human 1-on-1 career support for students.
The platform has candidates from across the 5,000 schools nationwide, and deep connection at 200 priority schools, giving employers the ability to identify candidates who are difficult to find and in particular serve as a powerful source for diversity candidates. Vocate has served over 10k students with job opportunities and made more than 100k introductions to employers.
Material from a media kit was used in this report.