October 3rd, 2012 15:42 EST
A Blueprint For Graduate Success: How to Find WORK in the 21st Century
An August 20, 2012 report in Bloomberg Businessweek covered a significant development in the area of helping graduates to find meaningful work. Six U.S. undergraduate business schools require students to attend classes that prepare them for the process of finding work, some of them starting in their freshman year.
Most significantly, these activities are embedded in the curriculum and students must complete them, just like all their other classes, before they can graduate. This is in contrast to most colleges and universities where attending any classes offered by the Career Services department is optional and consequently many students never attend them.
If all colleges and universities adopted this approach, the level of graduate unemployment would decrease and the quality of employment they`re finding would increase. There is work available in today`s workplace but graduates don`t know how to find it. We`re in a new era in the workplace and graduates must be given new tools to succeed in it. These are tools that their parents` and grandparents` generation of graduates never had.
They include knowing how to effectively approach employers, how to market and sell themselves, how to find work using social media, how to create marketing tools beyond the the resume that are focused on employer`s needs, and for those who are interested in self-employment, how to go about it.
Sending our graduates out into the workplace as unprepared as they are currently is inexcusable. The reason it is happening is that the senior bureaucrats and administrators who are in charge of our education system are out of touch with the challenges today`s graduates are facing. In their day most graduates had a decent job by the time they graduated or found one soon afterwards. Those days are long gone and are never coming back.
Graduates are one of the most important resources we have yet we have been squandering that resource for years if not decades. Too many graduates are unemployed, working in low-paying jobs in the service sector, or working for no pay as interns. This has to stop. No country can afford that kind of waste.
The only way it will stop is if graduates, their families, graduate associations, business and professional associations and society in general insist that our graduates be given the tools they need to succeed in today`s challenging workplace. Let`s get on with it.
Ron McGowan is the author of the international bestseller How to Find WORK in the 21st Century, currently in use at over 400 colleges and universities worldwide.