College Students and Career Fear
Gallup and Strada Education Network offers in-depth research into post-secondary education and employment pathways. They recently conducted a survey of more than 32,000 students at 43 randomly selected colleges to better understand how prepared students feel for the job market. The results reveal a troubling truth about the confidence of our students:
- Only a third of students believe they will graduate with the skills and knowledge to be successful in the job market (34%) and in the workplace (36%). (Source)
- Just half (53%) believe their major will lead to a good job. (Source)
Can you believe that? Only half of students feel that their major will lead to a successful career. It’s clear that college age students don’t think think they are very prepared for their futures, but why? More from Gallup and Strada showed that schools lacking in particular services may be the reason. In fact, the study found that schools have significantly more optimistic students when the following three experiences occur:
- Students speak often with faculty or staff about their career options
- Students have at least one university official initiate a conversation with them about their career options
- Students believe their school is committed to helping them find a rewarding career
So What Do These Findings Mean For You as a Community Champion?
You may be thinking to yourself, “Interesting, but how does this apply to me”? Very often and with good reason, educational organizations focus on getting students to attend a 4 year college. The U.S. department of education states that “college graduates with a bachelor’s degree typically earn 66 percent more than those with only a high school diploma; and are also far less likely to face unemployment” (Source).
However, our community sometimes forgets to encourage students’ in their career pursuit after they get acceptance letters. The results? According to Gallup and Strada, a confidence crisis among graduating college seniors.
That is where you come in. At Tagg, we think the solution starts early and starts with you. While as a sub, you only teach grades k-12, you can still have an impact on career preparedness down the road. Not all Tagg subs are former educators. In fact, many of them have never taught in a formal classroom setting before, but that doesn’t mean they can’t change the stats.
Remember the solutions that the survey discovered? One of the main game-changers was simply exposing and talking to students about career options. Our subs come from all different backgrounds. We have engineers, veterans, lawyers, creatives and more. As a Tagg sub, it is likely that you bring career advice that long-time teachers can’t speak to.
This is your chance to show kids that they can be successful in any career. Perhaps you’re a web developer. Well, you can use your experience to teach a class how to create simple code. No matter how you share your experiences, you are introducing students to job possibilities that they may have never considered.
Even more so, your presence in the classroom indicates that you and their school are committed to their career success. Arriving for the day, sharing your occupation, and answering questions is proof to students that you believe in them. So, yes. You can change the outlook. It’s as simple as showing up and being you.