You are about to invest a lot of money for a college education with the expectation that a degree will land you employment after graduation. How will you best assure a return on this investment (ROI)? News flash! In today’s global workplace a degree alone is no longer a direct ticket to a professional job. Students must engage strategically outside the classroom as early as freshman year to become successful in landing employment after graduation. This means leveraging a whole new set of strategies not taught in the traditional college classroom.
By the year 2020 over 40% of jobs will be contract work (The Intuit 2020 report). As more companies downsize full time employees and replace them with contract employees, the job search process will change considerably. Fewer companies will utilize placement offices at colleges and universities in order to find candidates. Instead, job seekers will rely more and more on social media, professional connections and professional referrals to locate work. Therefore, college students must start building and nurturing strong professional relationships the minute they step foot on campus. And, here are four strategies to get started.
1. Complete Your First Year’s Core Courses At A Community College.
Then transfer to a public, in state four-year institution and complete your degree. With the money you save, invest it each summer by participating in a professional experience. These experiences-internships-are every bit as important as the coursework you complete! And these “outside the classroom” experiences will help you build professional relationships and establish the sought after professional skill sets desired by today’s employers.
2. Begin Working With The College Career Center Immediately.
This office will assist you in leveraging the strategies necessary to become employable. Establish a strong relationship with a career coach, meet with him/her often and set goals for each semester.
3. Choose A Major That Truly Interests You.
Remember. Higher education is just as much about studying what you love as it is about becoming employable. And, for majors that do not easily translate into job titles (i.e. english, philosophy, history, etc.), be strategic. Add a second major or minor in business, establish competencies in the use of technology, and leverage internship experiences. Your coursework will teach you the basics of how to think, write and problem solve whereas the “outside the classroom” experiences will allow you to practice and master these sought after skill sets.
4. Participate In An Internship Every Summer.
Internships are the best way to master sought after skill sets, professional relationships and realistic work expectations-especially for those studying majors that don’t easily translate into job titles. Now that companies are relying more on employee referrals and interns for new hires, it is imperative that students begin internships as early as freshman year. For each year after, establish a progressively higher-level, mentored based internship experience with the final year’s internship at a company of top interest.
Using these strategies will greatly benefit your ROI. Do you have a strategy to add to this list? Share your thoughts here and check out the available courses through workitdaily. Then work with me to strengthen your brand. #workitdaily
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