Spotlight for Career Services Professionals, March 14, 2012
The “average” career services office boasts more than 2,300 square feet, according to results of NACE’s 2011-12 Career Services Benchmark Survey, but most survey respondents reported facilities that are far less palatial: In fact, the median square footage reported was 1,200 square feet.
As one would expect, the larger the institution’s enrollment, the larger the office in physical space. Offices at schools with 20,000 students and above, for example, have a median size of 2,500 square feet, while their counterparts with fewer than 1,000 students have a median of 800 square feet.
The survey also shows:
- Overall, “career services” is the most popular title for the office, with more than 44 percent of respondents citing it as their office’s name.
- More than four out of five offices are centralized in terms of structure.
- Approximately three out of five offices are organized under student affairs; about one in five is organized under academic affairs.
- The most popular services—provided by more than 90 percent of respondents—are career counseling by appointment; career fairs; workshops; assistance to students pursuing employer-offered internship, co-op, or externship opportunities; and the availability of career services and assessment tools.
- The average salary to directors fell compared to the figure posted in last year’s survey. Conversely, average salary figures rose for career counselors, experiential education coordinators, and employer relations coordinators.
- Most offices don’t charge students or alumni for use of services. Among those that do charge students and/or alumni, the most common charge is for testing services.
- Although the average operating budget is $63,086, the median is $31,000. This is the third consecutive year in which the median, non-personnel budget for career services offices has declined. Larger institutions took a bigger hit in their non-personnel budgets than did their counterparts at small schools.
Additional highlights are available through the executive summary.
The 2011-12 Career Services Benchmark Survey for Four-Year Colleges and Universities was conducted September 21, 2011, to December 9, 2011; 866 career centers participated. The survey report is now available.