How to Help Students at Community Colleges Find a Job
If you’re a career center professional at a community college, you know that some of your students are not fully confident or cognizant of how valuable their associate’s degree truly can be. You can help them secure a job by demonstrating that value to them and helping them strategize in ways that are specific to their unique degree and skill sets.
1. Demonstrate That Employers Are Hiring Community College Graduates
Point students to analyses showing the value of their degree to employers. For example, you could show them the recent study from Forbes that lists the 35 percent growth rate for high-paying jobs requiring an associate’s degree through 2020. That’s more than 20 points higher than the 14 percent growth rate for all jobs over the same period.
2. Work With Advisors to Help Students Make an Informed Decision About Their Major
It’s important for students to choose a major based on their passion. Since community colleges often spend less time on generalized classes and more time on classes that are highly specific to a student’s major, it’s critical that students select a major that is the best fit for them. Collaborate with students’ academic advisors to compare notes and give advice.
It’s also important that students consider the kinds of jobs they can get based on their major and how much money they’ll make. Consider creating and distributing a publication in which you list each major, along with related jobs, job growth rate, and both starting and median salaries.
3. Help Students Target the Most Promising Companies
Students at community colleges who have been trained in a very specific field need to be able to connect with very specific employers. Work with students to create a list of target companies and guide them through the process of connecting with these employers. Make sure to also spread the word to these students about any upcoming networking events that are relevant to their field, like on-campus interviews, information sessions and career fairs specific to their major.
An associate’s degree can be the ticket to a high-paying and rewarding career in virtually every industry. Help your students by showing them the value of their degrees and by giving them the tools they need to demonstrate that value to the right prospective employers.