In an economy where the job market is considerably more competitive than ever before, it is integral for colleges and universities to prepare their graduates to enter the workforce.
Cardinal Points staff writer Tim Lyman reported this week that “Students and their parents increasingly view college as training for that first job out of college rather than a broad education for life.” This expectation is understandable, especially considering the current costs of a college education.
Plattsburgh State offers many services to its students, both undergraduates and those at the graduate level, to get ready for that next step after graduation. Places such as the Career Development Center, located on the first floor of the Angell College Center, assist students with resume-building, honing interview skills, dressing professionally and networking, among other topics.
These opportunities, if taken advantage of, can prove invaluable. Whether students capitalize on those chances is completely up to them. Oftentimes we become so wrapped up in various projects and responsibilities that we are unaware of the services that are readily available to us. Though the CDC sends out multiple emails, posts flyers and even reaches out to Cardinal Points for possible articles, college students’ tunnel vision can be quite powerful.
Therefore, we think it may be valuable for professors, especially those who teach senior seminar courses, to place a stronger emphasis on developing and fine-tuning these skills. As important as it is to know the difference between creationism and evolution and how accounting works, it is equally as important to know how to land a job where you can put that knowledge to effective use.
For example, the journalism senior seminar encompasses a pair of tests along with an “exit interview” that evaluates a student’s professional portfolio, which students must put together themselves. Although this evaluation and the exams are important to assess whether a student is truly ready to graduate, spending time on how specifically to construct a resume, as well as just how a cover letter should be crafted depending on where the application is going to, would be largely beneficial. Even though the CDC offers similar training, they won’t know as much about the journalism field and what employers in specific fields look for — your professors should know that, and they should pass it on to the students.
While it’s good to take advantage of these services while at college, we also need to try our hand at living independently. Whether we will be returning to campus at the end of August or taking the first step into the “real world,” it is key to remember that no one — not our parents, our professors, our friends or the friendly people at the CDC — can live our lives for us. This includes taking the most from the times when things are handed to us, so we can cope when they aren’t.