As many have seen or read in the media, there are a lot of recent graduates who have obtained their degree from a prestigious university, but feel they have no better chance in the workplace than someone who barely graduated from a less quality school.
There are many questions regarding why this has happened including:
- Was it the school?
- Was it the major?
- Is it the bad economy?
In this brief article we will address these questions and provide you with one key strategy that will help put your student in the very best position when they graduate to attract potential employers.
First, I would be naive to tell you that economy is not a factor in young graduates finding employment. The fact is as a nation we are experiencing one of the worst unemployment environments in the last 50 years.
Therefore, as companies and industries struggle there is a lot of competition for entry level positions. It is very common for many companies to prefer to hire someone who has the experience and the degree.
By seeking candidates who poses experience these companies feel they save on the time it would take to have these new employees begin to produce. Since time is money, investing in a newbie is a real concern.
How do I get experience when nobody wants to give me a chance?
The most common outcry from frustrated graduates is, “how do I get the experience when nobody is willing to give me a chance?”
This is where the value of an internship or co-op training is vital to any college student. Colleges and universities that have these programs in place are able to connect their students with employers in their chosen field in order to give them real world experience. The employers have established agreements with the schools whereby the employer agrees to provide students with an opportunity to be part of the company and apply some of their newly learned skills in a working environment.
Some internship programs even provide a small stipend for the student, but more often than not the student will work without compensation. However, the experience, contacts, and letters of recommendation are extremely valuable when seeking a job after graduation. In some cases these internship positions may even end up offering the student a job after graduation.
What if the school doesn’t have an internship or Co-op program?
When the college or university doesn’t offer an internship placement program students should begin to contact employers in their chosen field on their own.
One thing to remember is that It doesn’t matter if the student does their internship in one location and then after graduation moves to another location. The important thing is that they received some training outside of the academic arena.
Of course, if the internship is located in a different city than where they are attending school, the student may be limited to doing an internship during the summer months, or take off a semester to gain this viable training. As you can see, having a school with employer contacts makes this process a lot easier and convenient.
What we have discussed here is just one of the many aspects that I look at with the students that work with me.
It is no longer just a matter of getting into a good university. Rather it is taking into account all the various variables involved and developing a comprehensive plan that will get you and your student their intended goal.