Data from Online College Students, 2017
Here are five questions you should be asking to make sure your career services are reaching online students and giving them what they want.
Are Your Career Services Easy for Online Students to Find and Use?
Our 2017 Online College Student report found a whopping 77 percent of online students used their school’s career services. But disappointingly, many students aren’t reporting high satisfaction with the services they find.
A 2016 Gallup-Purdue Index Report found only a paltry 17 percent rated those services “very helpful.”
Andy Chan, vice president for personal and career development at Wake Forest University has argued that many college career service departments do a poor job of advertising the extent of their services and this could explain the lack of satisfaction. Students simply don’t know what’s offered.
Branding your services and drawing attention to everything you offer is critical to ensuring students can find the help they’re after.
Are You Training Your Instructors to Think Like Career Counselors?
In a widely read LinkedIn article Christine Y. Cruzvergara, Associate Provost and Executive Director for Career Education at Wellesley College, discussed the evolution of career services. Cruzvergara argues career services are entering a “connections and communities” phase where the goals of the career center must be infused through all levels of the university. “Today, career services must become a presence that permeates the institutional culture and experience,” writes Cruzvergara.
For online students that means equipping their instructors to answer basic questions about the job search process and making sure they can act as a gateway to the full suite of career services.
But it shouldn’t end with your instructions. Students gain immensely from one-on-one conversations with trained career counselors. Education Dynamic’s Unigo Connect is a platform that facilitates 1:1 conversations between students and your college professionals. Schedule a demo to learn more.
Do Your Services Help Students Start Careers?
An overwhelming 80 percent of online students said they were primarily pursuing career advancement. With that in mind, consider whether your online career center can focus on interview preparation, assistance with filling applications, access to job listings, and info on salary expectations and negotiations. Students want the skills that will help them take their careers to the next level.
Are You Tracking Alumni Outcomes?
Online students want to be sure their decision to enroll in college is sound and will lead to gains in their careers. In other words, they want to see a clear Return on Education (ROE). Enhance your ROE proposition by tracking the success of your alumni closely. You’ll be able to back up the value of your educational offerings with testimonials and data. Consider incorporating alumni success data in your annual report, and make sure it’s widely circulated at all levels of leadership to help your entire college get behind the mission of the career center.
Do You Have a (Usable) Database for Jobs?
It’s likely you have a database or job board where online students can look for careers. But are these services useful for students and job posters alike? Too often job boards are student centered and neglect the needs of employers who want to post to it. To get the most of your job board, make sure it’s user friendly and consider having a staff member assigned to serve as liaison to employers, both local and nationwide.
If you want an in-depth look at the behaviors and attitudes of today’s students, get our free 50-page download 2018 Online College Students co-published by Aslanian Market Research and The Learning House.
* Download the full Online College Students Report from Aslanian Market Research and The Learning House here: http://learn.dev.propaganda3.com/education-dynamics/online-college-students-2017