Magazine article University Business

Closing the Gap between Career Services and Employers: An Evolving Marketplace Requires Closer Relationships with the Corporate World

Magazine article University Business

Closing the Gap between Career Services and Employers: An Evolving Marketplace Requires Closer Relationships with the Corporate World

Article excerpt

Colleges and universities must face a harsh reality: Employer expectations of their graduates are changing. It's not enough for candidates to have the professional or technical skills needed for a particular job. Hiring managers now want employees with the ability to apply both hard and soft skills to their role.

That means it's more crucial than ever for college career services teams to forge partnerships with the recruiters and corporate partners doing the hiring. We need to make sure those relationships address the very latest market demands and ultimately provide students with the competitive advantage they need and deserve.

Don't focus so much on majors

What can I do with my major? That's what students ask advisors, but it's the wrong question. The job market today is about the skills you possess and the ability to apply those skills across a range of industries and roles.

That's why colleges need to embrace a "career communities" model that empowers students to expand their career mindset beyond their major. A "career community" is a group of students who come together with corporate partners and alumni to learn more about specific industries and be mentored in their career interests.

We suggest hosting regular meetings focused on a range of professions such as finance, analytics, consulting, entrepreneurship and nonprofirs. This helps students translate classroom knowledge into career-ready competencies beyond any one major.

Addressing workplace needs

Career services professionals must be able to translate the current needs of the marketplace to faculty and students, and to take action when appropriate. If recruiters say they need more candidates for lucrative sales roles, for example, it might be time to create a new sales course.

Or if hiring managers tell you that, in order to truly assess students' analytical abilities, their companies will be using case-style interviews, college career services should offer workshops that prepare students for this format. …

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