A resource often overlooked and under-utilized in the college decision is thecareer center of each college. The college career center contains free resources where students can learn how their talents, values, and interests will best fit into their career options. If you have an idea of your career path, this resource can help you connect with the best companies and alumni to jump-start your career. Unfortunately, many students do not consider this as part of their college decision or take advantage of this expertise early in their college experience. The college decision needs to include the career center services as one part of the criteria used in ranking a school.
A key spot to your college visits should be the career center. As we continue try to focus on the outcome of an education, the career center is the link between the college academics and the real world. It is true the department heads have access to the different companies and alumni but normally the student will go through the career center at some point.
There are several reasons why a student should begin visiting the Career Center Freshmen year. First, this is the place where a student can find professional counselors who will help them learn about their strengths and possible career choices. A student will learn about majors, future job prospects and even how to get to that dream job. The career center can help a student combine their interests and discuss how they relate to different majors. The national graduation rate after 4 years is currently less than 40%. Learning early in the college experience about the career that is the right fit for them will hopefully enable the student to graduate on time.
The career center is especially important to those students who enter college with an Undeclared Major or the current student who has switched their major. Taking different courses that interest you combined with speaking to the professionals in the career center can help you pick your major but your work is not over. It is still very important to research the selected major and know exactly how many credits will be needed to graduate. Getting information from your academic advisor is critical. Certain college majors have a structured order in which courses need to be completed and could add time onto college if not taken in the right order. This is why students should try and declare their major as early as possible. The student will then begin taking courses specific to their academic program.
As your progress through college most career centers also have a listing of jobs and internship postings. You can find information about specific companies or organizations along with salaries of past graduates from that school. The career center will also help a student write a strong resume and teach them how to conduct a successful interview. This skill needs to be developed before you graduate. The more job experience a student has on their resume the better they can market themselves to future employers.
Don’t miss out on any career opportunities. Find out if your college is affiliated in any partner programs with major companies. This will help with both internships and future jobs. Resources at the career center will let you investigate if any jobs exist in your expertise and also if they even appeal to you. Get to know the people who work in the career center so when a job opens they will be able to recommend you for that position.
Remember you are paying for this education and the career center is a free resource that can only benefit you. Go to your career center and let them help you through the college challenges you will face.