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College Career Center Study

Millennial Branding and InternMatch Release Study on College Career Centers

Almost 50% of students aren’t using their career centers & 64% turn to online resources instead

New York, NY – April 1, 2014 – Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm and InternMatch, an online platform for companies to find and hire amazing students, today announced a new report called the “College Career Center Study“. The study shows how students rate their career service centers on how they are helping them find jobs, prepare for the working world and discovering the right career path. Additionally, the study covers what career centers should offer in order to make students better equipped for the job market, including social media updates and job and internship opportunities. Between January and February 2014, we surveyed 4,150 college students and recent graduates from a diverse range of colleges and universities in America.

While almost all students (94%) think that their career service centers are necessary at colleges, almost half aren’t using their career centers and 61% say they are either never or rarely effective in helping them land a job. The purpose of career centers is to help students prepare for the real world and support their internship and job searches, but they are falling short due to few resources, not leveraging social media and lacking the staff to scale. The average ratio of students to career service professionals is 1,889 to 1 (NACE) and we found that almost a third of students in our study say that centers don’t have enough staff to support students.

In today’s economy, there’s even more pressure on schools, and their career centers, to deliver for students as both parents and students question the return on investment in higher education. Over 50% of recent grads are either unemployed or underemployed (The Atlantic), with an average student loan debt of $29,400 (CNN Money). As a result of students not getting enough support from their career centers, 64% of students are relying more on free or paid online career resources instead.

Additional highlights from the report include:

  • Career centers aren’t helping students land jobs. 61% say they are either never or rarely effective in helping them land a job.
  • They aren’t helping students find a career path. 57% of students say their career center is either never or rarely helpful in helping them figure out a career path and only 8% say they are always helpful.
  • They are accessible to students despite low staff. 64% said it’s either easy or very easy to meet with career center staff.
  • Students want career centers to help them turn their degree into a job. Students wish that their career service centers offered more internship support (68%), job postings (56%) and career classes and workshops (46%).
  • Students want centers to provide social media career updates. 83% said it would be useful if their career center provided career-related social media updates.
  • Career centers aren’t providing enough career-related events for students. 30% have either never or rarely provided regular career events where students can network.
  • Many career centers aren’t leveraging alumni contacts to help students. 29% of career centers are either never or rarely willing to connect students to alumni. Only 15% are always willing to connect students to alumni.
  • Students aren’t learning modern career skills through their centers. 49% ( almost half) are either never or rarely teaching students new professional skills like online branding.
  • Career centers could do a better job of connecting with students on campus. 32% say that their career centers are either never or rarely effective in communicating with them on campus.

Infographic:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quotes:

“If we want to address student unemployment and rising debt we need to invest in our career centers.  Tech savvy millennials know how to find and apply to jobs online, but they need direct advice on how to develop professional skills and navigate the changing job market. Our data found that only 8% of students said their career center was always helpful in this area—a big opportunity for improvement. ”

- Nathan Parcells, Founder and CMO, InternMatch

Since career services isn’t equipped with the resources and capabilities to serve students, students are seeking third party sources in order to develop their careers while in college. Students think their career centers are important  but they need to provide more internship opportunities and help them to secure jobs. If colleges don’t start investing in their career centers, or implement a career curriculum, to serve students, placement rates will decline and students will go elsewhere.”

- Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding & New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success

Contacts:

Millennial Branding: Dan Schawbel, dan@millennialbranding.com
Internships.com: Nathan Parcells, nathan@internmatch.com

About Millennial Branding:

Millennial Branding is a Gen Y research and management consulting firm based in Boston, Mass. Millennial Branding helps companies understand the emerging Gen Y employee by providing research, training, and advisory services. As representatives of Gen Y and advisers to management, our goal is to provide research and insights that will make you more profitable, grow your market share, help you understand your Gen Y employees, and turn you into an industry leader. As ambassadors to Gen Y, we want to give our generation a voice, support their careers, and connect them with brands that understand their needs.

About InternMatch:

InternMatch is an online platform that connects students with amazing companies and helps companies hire amazing students. InternMatch works with millions of students, over 1,000 universities, and thousands of employers including Facebook, Zappos, CBS Interactive and more. InternMatch’s Campus Hub product helps employers build an online brand for students through rich content like video and pictures as well as expand their recruiting reach to more campuses.