Have you ever congratulated a graduating senior, asked about future plans, and been surprised by the answer “I have no idea”? Several years ago, this answer was common. Fortunately, today, educators and employers have identified the career readiness gap and now intentionally equip students to be ready for the “dream job.”
While pursuing degrees, students can engage in Career Exploration courses which provide the necessary tools, resources, and experiences to promote Career Readiness. Some of these courses are offered as standalone courses, and some are paired with discipline specific courses.
Wherever institutions offer these courses, students are given the opportunity to discover careers, develop skills, and demonstrate skills to stand out in the interview process.
Get the big picture
Discovering and exploring careers through research enables students to begin learning about the job market. Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight is an example of a resource students can use to find data on local labor markets.
Many people become so focused on a specific “job title” they don’t realize the vast employment opportunities available within a profession. Although it’s important to research salaries within the career, determining which employers are recruiting can also provide valuable information.
As students mature through their educational journey, matching personal preferences with specific employers can guide graduates. Discovering where a job is located, if it is a large or small employer, and the projected salary can provide insight for career choices.
Building skills for success
Developing and identifying career skills are other key factors for success. As students engage in career readiness courses, they begin learning how to create an online portfolio such as a Linkedin profile, which enables communication within the profession.
Interview techniques and resume writing build confidence for those entering the job market. Through these real-life experiences, students learn if professional certifications are required and how they may be obtained. Becoming aware of the entry level basic skills needed for a profession allows students to enter the job market prepared and with confidence.
Once the career research has been completed and students possess the basic entry level skills needed, they are ready to demonstrate their acquired skills. Being aware of employer expectations provides students an advantage when job searching.
Students who possess the online portfolio can showcase college projects and badges earned while relating them to the career they are pursing. Employers will immediately see the teamwork and collaboration skills. Demonstrating these valuable skills will enable the graduate to stand out during the interview process.
Ready for the future
Entering the job market can be an overwhelming time in anyone’s life. Knowing the jobs available and skills needed can produce confidence for the future employee. Engaging in Career Readiness courses can equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to land that dream job. Discovering careers, developing skills, and demonstrating these skills can help transition students to career ready candidates.