As 2021 begins, higher education could see a shift the focus to one critical office: career services. Typically on the fringes of institution’s priorities, the career services office is as Brandon Busteed wrote for Forbes, “poised to become a core facet of the student experience – as central to student success as the curriculum… it will become the most important drivers of enrollment growth as students and parents seek career outcomes as their top reason for attending.” According to a 2018 Strada and Gallup poll, getting a good job is the number one reason Americans value higher education. That positioning only makes the career services office even more critical for college enrollment and retention as the unemployment rate for those 15-24 years old is at 11.7% due to COVID-19. Utilizing and expanding the career services office can be the critical tool to increase enrollment and prepare students for careers.
Yet, as the spring recruiting season approaches for 2021, career service professionals are now more important than ever for college campuses. By pulling critical data, employment placement, internship connections, and showcasing how a robust alumni network works within career services, your university can leverage the career services office to continue to expand and grow a university. As InsideHigherEd’s Editor, Paul Fain, writes that despite numbers of student’s dissatisfaction with faculty and staff to help with job preparation, those that did engage with their students for postsecondary options reported that they felt college was well worth the cost and that there is a growing “a broad acknowledgment that career exploration should be part of a good college education.” According to NACE that sentiment isn’t just anecdotal as evident by NACE’s recent surveys which found that in the past couple of years the median in-person appointments rose nearly 28% from 827 to 1,055 between the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years.
Additionally, as Busteed writes,
“[The] higher education institutions that aim to make work relevance and career services core to the student experience (for all, not just a few) will reap tremendous rewards in the form of notable enrollment increases and alumni donations. In an age of higher education defined by increasingly competitive marketing and enrollment management, work relevance and career services may soon become the most important selling point of a university… an intense focus on delivering high-quality career services for all students will be a unique differentiator in a sea of doubt about college graduate work readiness. Universities that make career services a strategic priority will create very bright futures for themselves and their graduates.”
With Symplicity CSM, universities can empower their career services professionals to help students all within one platform and work in tandem with their university leaders to increase enrollment as a direct result of career readiness and placement as seen through robust reporting and relationship building. Symplicity CSM enables career services offices to accurately track students internship and experiential learning opportunities so that they can see what things a student can count as professional experience to put them ahead of other applicants for a job. Utilizing Symplicty CSM allows career services staff to also advocate for their student’s best interests by seeing what a job’s salary is, what coursework a student is taking that best aligns with available jobs, build connections between employers that are recruiting, and find curated jobs that allow students and employers full transparency.
The CSM platform, that builds the foundation to enable universities and colleges to measure and report on critical KPIs around student engagement and outcomes, streamline student and employer outreach, and run robust NON - OCR. With this critical reporting data, universities can assess their career readiness programs and actively use the data to market for college enrollment. With an enterprise-scale employability platform, universities can leverage CSM to engage students, employers, staff and administrators in the career-readiness process. At Symplicity, we believe the careers center provides critical services and fosters lasting connections with students and employers. As a result, CSM has the largest network of students and employers in the space.