25 Ways to Make College Pay off: Advice for Anxious Parents from a Professor Who's Seen It All

25 Ways to Make College Pay off: Advice for Anxious Parents from a Professor Who's Seen It All

25 Ways to Make College Pay off: Advice for Anxious Parents from a Professor Who's Seen It All

25 Ways to Make College Pay off: Advice for Anxious Parents from a Professor Who's Seen It All

Synopsis

In the next few years, parents can expect to spend more than $40,000 per year on their child's college tuition. While that number may seem frightening, it is not as grim as the statistics that predict their child's chances of actually finding a job after graduation. Only about 20% of employers believe college graduates are ready for the workforce, and only 40% of graduates will find a job that will ensure their financial independence. The good news is that with the right advice, parents can turn their pricey investment into one that truly yields a high return and a rewarding career for their son or daughter. Professor Coplin offers honest advice for parents who want their child's college experience to ensure future success- both financially and emotionally. Parents will learn how to help their college-bound student: • develop skills employers actually want •get their first job • treat career services as their best ally • explore a variety of career paths • realize the importance of the unpaid internship • and more. A unique and no-nonsense blueprint, 25 Ways to Make College Pay Off will show parents how to mentor and guide their child through college so that he or she gets the most out of the experience and leaves prepared for the real world.

Excerpt

If we don’t change our direction, we are likely to end up where we
are headed
.”

—Chinese proverb

Students have many misconceptions about how college can help them prepare for satisfying careers, but the biggest is that a college degree and a high gpa will guarantee a good first job and a successful career. Anyone in the work world knows that over the long run skills and character ensure success. the gpa provides employers with only an indication that the student may have some of the essential skills they want. They need much more information than that.

A 2006 survey of U.S. employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reveals what employers value in their new hires. the most highly rated soft skills were communications and teamwork. Character traits sought most were honesty/integrity and strong work ethic, and important technical skills included analytic and computer skills.

Since the mid-1980s, employers have consistently reported in many different studies that college graduates have solid technical skills for their specific fields but lack general professional skills. the conclusion from these studies and my conversations with corporate recruiters is clear: Skills and character determine career success; a college degree guarantees neither.

I’ll discuss character in chapter 2; this one focuses on skills. After reading this chapter, I hope you will be convinced that you need to deliver the message “skills matter” every chance you get. Employers don’t want just . . .

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