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  • Career Services: Most Common Divisions, Names

    August 16, 2017 | By NACE Staff

    Organizational Structure
    Three career services employees chat in the atrium of their college campus office building.

    TAGS: operations, trends and predictions, surveys, benchmarks, spotlight

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

    More than half of university career services operations are based in the student affairs division, according to results of NACE’s 2016-17 Career Services Benchmark Report for Colleges and Universities.

    Overall, nearly 52 percent of university career services operations are based in the student affairs division, followed by 24 percent in academic affairs.

    Although the division that houses an institution’s career services operation has remained relatively unchanged since last year, there has been gradual movement away from student affairs over the years, perhaps reflecting a desire by institutions to coordinate career services with other essential areas. (See Figure 1.) In 2006, 67 percent of career services operations were part of student affairs, while just 18 percent were in academic affairs.

    In terms of names, “career services” was identified as the most commonly used title (44.4 percent), followed by “career center” (29.8 percent), and “career development” (28.7 percent). (See Figure 2.) The “other” category was identified by 19.1 percent of respondents and was comprised of dual-purpose titles such as “career and academic advising.” Also, titles containing “career education” and “planning” occurred frequently (13.4 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively).

    Data were collected for the 2016-17 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report for Colleges and Universities from September 30, 2016, to January 20, 2017, from NACE member institutions; there were 705 respondents, representing 35.3 percent of all eligible respondents. Highlights from the 2016-17 Career Services Benchmark Report for Colleges and Universities are available on NACEWeb. Participating members can access the full report through MyNACE.

    Figure 1: Organizational Division, 2006-16

    Division 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
    % of Respondents
    Student Affairs 67.1% - 68.3% 63.1% 63.6% 59.4% 57.4% 59.0% 55.1% 54.6% 51.6%
    Academic Affairs 17.7% - 19.6% 21.5% 24.0% 22.4% 21.7% 18.9% 20.2% 22.5% 23.5%
    Other 15.2% - 7.5% 10.8% 3.4% 12.4% 9.8% 9.1% 11.0% 10.2% 9.9%
    School(s) Within University - - - - - - 5.4% 6.5% 6.9% 5.6% 7.2%
    Enrollment Management - - 2.8% 3.1% 6.0% 3.7% 3.0% 3.7% 4.1% 3.9% 4.3%
    Institutional Development - - 1.8% 1.5% 3.0% 2.1% 2.5% 2.9% 2.7% 3.3% 3.6%
    Source: 2016-17 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report for Colleges and Universities, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Naming Models Used in Office Title, by Carnegie Classification

    Division Doctoral Master’s Baccalaureate Associate’s
    R1 R2 R3 M1 M2 M3 A&S Diverse  
    Career center 40.4% 28.1% 38.9% 27.6% 21.7% 44.8% 22.7% 21.7% 31.1%
    Career Development 24.2% 20.3% 27.8% 34.2% 31.9% 31.0% 40.0% 26.1% 14.8%
    Career services 37.4% 48.4% 44.4% 38.8% 47.8% 58.6% 28.0% 63.0% 57.4%
    Placement 1.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2.2% 4.9%
    Professional development 5.1% 4.7% 2.8% 7.2% 5.8% 0.0% 8.0% 2.2% 0.0%
    Other 13.1% 18.8% 16.7% 20.4% 20.3% 3.4% 26.7% 17.4% 23.0%
    Source: 2016-17 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report for Colleges and Universities, National Association of Colleges and Employers