Offering support to as many people as possible via multiple mediums, I am an advocate of social networking. As such, I am on LinkedIn and often respond to questions posted on that site. I’m easy to find and welcome you to take the first step and invite me to join your network. After all, we all need a helping hand now and then!
Below is one question (and my response) recently submitted on LinkedIn. I bring this to you as the question may be pertinent to just about everyone, including students and directors at all levels…
Unfortunately, many graduating students possess a sense of entitlement in regards to employment. I recently spoke to a group of students and career directors at Yale University as well at a graduating commencement at ITT Technical Institute and found many students from all backgrounds and academic institutions have not been taught the concept of due diligence while many more have no concept of an effective career campaign. Heck, what about the law suit recently filed by a student in New York who is unable to secure a job?
While an instructor (I taught over 40 professional development classes to graduating students) and made it clear a degree is simply a tool toward career progression. While teaching and later as a program chair and dean of academic affairs, I engaged in many discussions with parents who also tended to have the idea that a degree equates to employment. No doubt a lesson for all parties involved came to surface.
The economic situation is (obviously) playing a major role in this but the concept of instant gratification also lends his hand. To help combat and better prepare students I encourage colleges to offer professional development courses. Having written career books and career-focused guides for executives in the private sector, I developed material for students, classrooms, and workshop settings. These materials are then customizes per college needs, degrees, diplomas, and agenda. Having an advisory board of over 25 career directors to lend their ideas and best practice methods has been well received and now many colleges are using ECS textbooks in their career/professional development classes. Those colleges not offering classes are placing material in their libraries or using the material during workshops; there is a countrywide understanding that possessing a degree is not enough to secure and/or progress in a career. On this note, if you would like an electronic sample of our career textbooks and/or guidebooks/workbooks, let me know.
A degree does not mean career success. Students and professionals alike must understand the complete career lifecycle, including hard copy development, self marketing and promotion, interviewing techniques, and research as well as a whole slew of practices in order to become competitive. Simply graduating and blasting a resume template over the Internet is not effective. How does one become competitive when so few are gaining employment? I believe it begins on day one, the moment a student walks through the door. It continues with a well-rounded education and flows to career preparation (the right way and with the right materials). Through hard work, diligence, theory, and practice, a degree can equate to a career—but it is not automatic.
Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International
Education Career Services
407-206-5883 (direct line)
866-794-3337 ext 110