Introducing Career Threads, a micro-blog series that offers quick insights into trending topics in career services, jointly composed by the Consulting Team at The Career Leadership Collective, out of their experiences interacting with hundreds of career professionals and senior university leaders.
Anyone who is student-facing in the career center can describe the thrill of having an advising meeting with a student and helping them move the needle on their career exploration or job/internship search. So much serotonin! Because we see the immediate impact of our work in one-on-one advising, we generally center this service in our outreach to students. This is a mistake for so many reasons. Firstly, most of us don't have the staff to support EVERY student visiting our office. In fact, the median ratio of students to career services staff sits at 1,583:1 nationally.
Even if we did have the staff to support every student, traditional business hours services don't meet the needs of all students. Here are five reasons students might be too busy to visit the career center!
Most of these facts are likely not a surprise, but they lead to the question, why haven’t we transformed our services more aggressively to offer access to meaningful career education? Change is hard and can be expensive, so here are three scalable ways to mitigate these issues:
Train student employee managers. If your campus has a robust student-employee or work-study population, training managers on career pathway mapping will connect students to career education during their work hours.
Build out 24/7 digital resources. This one is a no-brainer. A study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 70% of students would use career services more often if they were available 24/7.
Offer an asynchronous service! One of the institutions we worked with discovered that their asynchronous resume review service was most often accessed between 1 and 4 in the morning, and the majority of students who utilized the service selected "too busy" as the answer to why they chose this service.