Spotlight for Career Services Professionals, February 29, 2012
Due to the economy and subsequent budget cuts, career centers are struggling to meet the increased demand for their services from students and alumni.
And yet, many career centers are having to do much more with much less. There are consequences associated with this.
“Without the extra help, graduates may enter the job market unprepared to compete for the limited jobs available,” says Don Philabaum, co-founder of TalentMarks.
Following are five ways Philabaum has identified to get more resources for your career center:
- Use statistics to show a need—Create a brief report that outlines issues related to the job market for college graduates and the long-term effect they have on fundraising, recruitment, and alumni satisfaction.
- Show you can improve retention—There is a lot of money floating around—such as through state and federal grants—for programs to improve student retention. Cite research that shows that further investment in providing students more life and career coaching can help keep students focused on completing their education.
- Show you can help with recruiting students for admission—Parents and students are starting to focus less on the reputation and amenities your college offers and more on what the degree it provides will do for them. Ask your admissions team to emphasize during campus tours and in literature the services your career center provides.
- Develop a required four-year career curriculum—The career center needs to be a part of the student’s life the minute he or she walks on campus. As part of your four-year plan, you could show management that your department will offer a series of skills, behavior, and personality tests freshman year followed by review so students can understand where their strengths lie.
- Identify the “Cadillac” example—Benchmark what you are doing against like career centers. You need to identify what services they offer and then do a “gap analysis” to determine which services you are not offering. If you can offer management a list of services and products others are offering, you will have a much more compelling case for more resources.