My work neighbor, UC San Diego, is launching a program to support graduate students. Keeping in mind that research universities’ missions are focused on professor research, then graduate students, and after that undergrads, this is an idea I could see really taking off through all kinds of schools for all kinds of degrees.
Odds are you’re not at UC San Diego, so how can you access these kinds of opportunities, whether working on a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree? Their plan has a four-fold approach:
- Career Nights
- Certification in leadership, teamwork, and project management
- Communication workshop
- Career Services expanding their offerings to include grad students
These are pretty simple to replicate with some initiative on your part.
Back in 2012, The Chronicle of Higher Education published this study on employer perceptions of college graduates. And one-third of folks from my very popular segment, Media/Communications said that colleges were doing a fair or poor job of producing graduates who were going to be successful employees. Another third of employers across all industries said “recent graduates are unprepared or very unprepared for their job search” while “over half of the employers indicated difficulty in finding qualified candidates for job openings.”
Sure, this survey is three years old and the job market is much improved. Some students are now reneging on offers because better ones come along. The thing is, while the offers are being made, and the jobs and internships filled, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be well-regarded. And failing at your first job without being told why is pretty disastrous. You may not end up fired, just shunted off to the side or conveniently laid off.