Organizational Structure

Career Centers Continue to Shift Away From Student Affairs

May 3, 2023 | By Kevin Gray

A career services professional works with a student.

TAGS: career development, nace insights, organizational structure, trends and predictions,

Over the past 10 years, there has been a clear shift away from housing the career center in student affairs, according to NACE’s 2022-23 Career Services Benchmark Report.  

In 2012, 57% of career centers were located in student affairs. A decade later, that has dipped to 42%, as career centers have relocated to academic affairs, the office of enrollment management, the office of the president, and more.

By institution type, R1 and R2 schools are more likely to be housed in student affairs, while there tends to be more master’s and baccalaureate schools in academic affairs.

This continuing shift is evident in the last year as 20% of respondents to the 2022-23 Career Services Benchmark survey indicated there was a change in their reporting structure.

When asked for the main reasons for this change, 47% indicated the career center has been restructured, 32% indicated there was new leadership at the institution, and 18% said there is a new institution-wide focus on career outcomes.

NACE collected data for its 2022-23 Career Services Benchmarks Report from November 2, 2022, to December 15, 2022. NACE surveyed its member institutions, resulting in 561 respondents, which translates to a 30.1% response rate based on NACE’s membership at the time of the survey window. Institutions that took part in the survey can access the report and dashboard through MyNACE.

blank default headshot of a user Kevin Gray is an associate editor at NACE. He can be reached at

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