The rate at which college graduates are entering the workforce is unprecedented. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 70% of high school graduates immediately enrolled in an undergraduate college program, (not including community colleges, as they’re typically open admissions). Also, nearly 34% of Americans currently hold a bachelor’s degree (up from 28% a decade ago).
Learning doesn’t end as soon as a diploma is earned. In a post-recession world of work, many students are left wondering how the college or university they choose can aid in a job search. Career counseling, both pre and post-graduation, can help attract and retain students to your institution, but that’s not the only step colleges and universities can take to ensure student success after graduation.
Here are three steps your institution can take to help students get hired after they get their diploma:
- Tailor courses to match the needs of the workforce. The working landscape in the United States is changing and in many ways, supply is not keeping up with demand. The need for workers to fill jobs in automation, information technology, manufacturing, and healthcare is significant, according to U.S. News & World Report. Schools across the country, including Southern Illinois University and Arizona State, are creating digital credentials that meet the needs of both enrolled students and the communities in which they reside.
- Offer courses focused on soft-skills. Emotional intelligence will soon be as valuable, if not more valuable, than technical skills during the recruitment process. Equipping college students with the knowledge and skills to be valuable leaders, exercise empathy, and have clear communication and presentation skills, are priceless lessons that will make the interview process post-graduation significantly easier. Global companies, such as EY and Adobe, offer their workforce training and development programs that reward soft-skills. Offering courses that focus on the human side of work can teach students lessons that will stay with them for life.
- Give students a digital version of their achievements. Higher education is making the shift to verified, portable, and digital achievements that students can own both during and after graduation. Credly has recently partnered with Credential Engine to improve data publishing and communication across data systems, giving achievements standardization and commonality between higher education institutions.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to bridge the gap between higher education and employment, click here.