What the Strada-Gallup 2017 College Student Survey Can Teach Us About Career Service Management
Why do incoming students choose to enroll in college? Because nearly all of them hope it will make them more attractive to employers. But while attending, do they still feel confident that they are being prepared for success? How are these students using their university’s resources, such as dedicated advisors and career services, to help them explore options? To what extent do students value these services?
In 2017, Strada-Gallup led a national study of 32,585 students from 43 randomly selected colleges and universities to help answer these questions. It demonstrated that all parties, staff, professors, and institutions can contribute to students’ confidence in their ability to excel after college. Additionally, students utilize multiple resources from their career services office, but often the most valuable resources are seldom used. These students find guidance from their advisers beneficial but receive less valuable information regarding possible career options.
Students’ confidence in their preparation for the workforce varies by major.
53% of students think their major will help them get a good job. Students with education, social work, and criminal justice majors are confident they are gaining the necessary knowledge and skills to receive a successful job. Students pursuing science, technology, engineering and math degrees have the highest confidence that they will receive a good job after graduation.
Traditional students do not feel as prepared as nontraditional students.
Nontraditional students (age 24 and older) are more confident they will gain the necessary skills to land a good job and succeed in the workplace. 70% of nontraditional students picked their major before enrolling, versus 60% of traditional students.
When students receive career-specific support they feel better prepared.
Students who think their university is proactively setting them up with resources and options to find a career have higher confidence in the ability to get a job after college.
Four in 10 students and one-third of seniors have never used their school’s career services.
Juniors and seniors are more likely to have visited their career services office than freshmen and sophomores, but overall 39% have never used that resource.
Underrepresented and underserved students find these resources especially helpful.
Although most students find their school’s services helpful, black, Hispanic, nontraditional and first-generation students find career services particularly helpful.
Students get more advice about courses and less about postgraduate options.
46% of students say their advisors offer helpful guidance about which courses they should take, while only 30% say academic advisors help them identify career options.
The results of the survey tell us that students need easy access to quality career services as well as skills and knowledge that will help them in the workforce. They find these resources helpful but would like additional information about what to expect post-graduation.
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