Mandatory Career Preparation

Emely Claros, Haynes News Writer

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Forbes has put “the unemployment rate for college graduates” at only 2.5% percent – half of what it is for “those with high school degrees”. While this is good, we can do better. To do so, students need career preparation classes.

Have you ever been questioned about your future just to realize you didn’t know what you wanted to be or how to get there?

This happened to me. The first time I applied for a job, I showed up with no resume, no idea how to talk, how to present myself. I had no organization.

This is why schools should provide mandatory classes teaching the logistics of getting a job including resume building, interview skills, and fieldwork experience. This is what will ensure even lower unemployment.

A diploma is not enough: The Hechinger Report pointed out how “too many students” have “no clear path forward.” This leads to failure in high school and college. Failure that can be avoided.

A Workforce Readiness Survey states that 67% of students would like internships and professional experience, 61% would like classes to help build career skills, and 58% o want more time to focus on career preparation. Students want this support so schools should provide it.

The benefits that would come from schools providing classes teaching students the logistics of getting a job is more students feel prepared when they graduate.

An article titled “Colleges Need To Rethink The Career Advice They Deliver” by Emily Deruy stated that ¨only about half of college graduates visited that office on their campus, and alarmingly few found it very helpful¨ .

This quotation is speaking about a career-services office which was an office on campus to help students learn the logistics of getting a job. Yet, not that many are going so a mandatory class would increase the number of students who get that help. The students have said it themselves; they found career preparation classes very helpful to them in their future careers to visit the career services office.

In an article called “Should Internships Be A Mandatory Paper Of The College Curriculum? The Answer Is Yes” by Lauren Landry described internships students received at a school in Massachusetts and students were grateful.

One said, “I can say that I, personally, feel as though I learned the most while at my internships during my undergraduate years at Emerson College. Through every experience, I learned more about myself and what I do, and do not want to do, in the future” by Lauren Landry.

Obviously, there are benefits to schools providing career preparation classes has turned out to be a good idea and explains more of a reason why schools should provide mandatory classes that teach students the logistics of getting a job.

However, it should not just be colleges worried about supporting students with the logistics of getting a job, the help can start in high school.

The fact is students need career preparation starting in high school. Some high schools already recognize the importance of “[preparing] students with a variety of skills for a fast-changing workplace” according State Instructional Resources Development Center. Others need to follow their lead.

However some, like college professors interviewed by Inside Higher Ed, don’t agree and argue “the university ‘isn’t here for careers’ and, as a liberal arts-oriented institution, shouldn’t be concerned with non-pedagogical matters such as job placement.”

They are wrong and forget what Jeffrey J. Selingo published: “the price of college has skyrocketed and tens of thousands of recent graduates have found themselves on the unemployment line or stuck in jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree.” It’s time to change that.

If we care about really preparing students, we need these classes. We need to start thinking about their future.

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