For many, a college education is a goal never to be realized. For others, the college education is achieved, but their potential isn’t fully unlocked. When someone graduates from college, are they really prepared for the workforce?
A recent study from McGraw Hill states that 71 percent of college students anticipate having a job within one year of graduation. Of those surveyed, only 44 percent of the seniors feel “very prepared” for their careers.
As educators, it is important to know how to help students feel prepared for the real world. Those who believe they will get a job within one year of graduation may also feel like they aren’t ready for it. This could lead to a great lack of confidence, which could lead to a loss of opportunity.
Even though there is a great need for those with skills in information technology (IT), that doesn’t mean that jobs are easy to find. Experience usually wins out in the job application process. So how do we help our students get a leg up on the competition?
A graduating student will be successful if they have:
- Gain hands on experience – It’s hard to get this kind of experience in a normal classroom setting. As an instructor, your curriculum should be focused on whatever hands on material you can come up with. Ascend Education has partnered with Practice Labs to provide students with a virtual setting to get this hands-on experience.
- Network program Alumni – A student that connects with program alumni will have a far greater chance of landing a job they want. Networking with alumni to find job openings is the most efficient way to land a position.
- Develop Soft skills – The life of a college student should not be focused on book learning alone. Employers will get applications from a number of qualified book learners – it’s those who also learned how to effectively communicate and have mastered a wide range of ‘soft skills’ that will be the ones who get ahead.
Of those students surveyed by McGraw Hill, 43 percent of them indicated that they are not currently looking for a post-graduation job. Instructors need to encourage tenacity on the job hunt. It’s our responsibility as educators to make sure this generation of students is prepared to contribute in the ever-changing work force.