Use of Career Center Tied to More Job Offers, More Paid Internships

BETHLEHEM, PA—College students who engage with their campus career center get more job offers on average than those who don’t, according to a new study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Results from NACE’s 2022 Student Survey show that graduating seniors who used at least one service offered by their career center—any service—received an average of 1.24 job offers. In comparison, graduating seniors who did not use any of the career center’s services averaged 1.0 job offers.

“Our data also show that for every additional service seniors used beyond just one, their average number of job offers increased 0.05,” says Shawn VanDerziel, NACE executive director. “The correlation between student use of the career center and their success in the job market is strong.”

The study also identified career center services that have the greatest effect on job offers.

“Three services stand out: using help from the career center with a search for an internship or co-op, taking part in mock interviews, and engaging in networking preparation,” says VanDerziel.

The study found that graduating seniors who have done a paid internship receive an average of 1.61 job offers compared to 0.95 job offers for those who have done an unpaid internship and 0.77 job offers for those who have not done an internship at all. (See Figure 1.)

“We’ve known for a long time that paid interns have a higher average number of job offers, and this study provides evidence of the impact career services has on paid internship participation: The data show that students who use the career center’s help to find an internship are 2.2 times more likely to get a paid internship than an unpaid internship or no internship at all,” says VanDerziel.

Ultimately, he explains, the career center’s effectiveness in helping students enter the world of work also benefits the institution.

“Graduating seniors who took part in paid internships are 2.4 times more likely to say their degree is related to the job they ultimately landed—and those who believe their job and degree are related are 3.3 times more likely to say their institution prepared them well for their career,” says VanDerziel.

“With this study, we’ve been able to quantify the value of career services for students and for the institution,” he notes. “Colleges and universities that put resources toward their career center will reap the return on investment.”

Additional highlights from the survey demonstrating the connection between career services and student success are available in The Value of Career Services.

Figure 1

About the 2022 Student Survey: Data for the survey were collected from February 22, 2022, to May 15, 2022. The survey instrument was distributed to 1,522 NACE-member four-year colleges and universities; in turn, the member institutions distributed to the survey to their students. In all, 15,860 bachelor’s degree students responded from 262 four-year colleges and universities. Of those, 2,140 were Class of 2022 graduating seniors. Results presented here were controlled for gender, race/ethnicity, age, and first-generation status. Specific characteristics regarding respondents that may affect their ability to compete in the job market, e.g., attendance at a prestigious institution, however, are not captured.

About the National Association of Colleges and Employers: Established in 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is the only professional association in the United States that connects nearly 11,000 college career services professionals, more than 3,600 university relations and recruiting professionals, and more than 400 business solution providers that serve this community.

NACE is the premier source of market research on career readiness and employment of recent college graduates. NACE forecasts hiring and trends in the job market; tracks salaries, recruiting and hiring practices, and student attitudes and outcomes; and identifies best practices and benchmarks.

NACE offers its members unparalleled research, networking and professional development opportunities, guidance on standards and ethics, and advocacy on key issues. For more information, visit NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media.