Parents are Mystified

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I speak with parents everyday who are mystified by the lack of success their recent college graduates have had in the job market. They look like deer in the headlights because they do not know what they can do to improve the situation.

Multiple surveys show that approximately 60% of college students graduate without a job. There are many reasons for this statistic.

Many colleges do not engage career discussions until the 3rd quarter of a student’s junior or senior year. We at Beyond the U believe this is excessively late. The Kelly School of Business at the University of Indiana now has a mandatory two-semester course on careers that must be completed before beginning junior level courses. Our experience indicates that the Kelly School of Business job placement rate is far greater than the average.

Cost pressures are causing corporations to visit fewer college campuses. Due to advancing technologies, this trend is expected to continue and will have a more pronounced impact on students with non-STEM majors. Students must adopt a fresh way of approaching managers within hiring corporations.

Students themselves are confused. A Beyond the U survey found that 80% of college seniors felt they would benefit from an assessment to help them choose a career path.


One reason we suggest students begin career planning by the end of their sophomore year is the many demands on a student’s attention during their final year. A student’s first goal is graduating and the pressure on college seniors to complete all of their courses is intense. We at Beyond the U have heard repeatedly from college seniors that they are too busy to think about their careers. Hence, students should begin career planning earlier in their academic career.

The first step in helping a student begin career planning is to understand their perspective. What kind of work are emerging adults looking for? The most recent research shows that 86% of emerging adults believe it is important to have a career that has a positive impact on the world and 79% believe that it is more important to enjoy their job than to earn a high salary. Changing jobs, returning to school, and taking a year off are several ways that emerging adults develop their professional identities. – See more at:

When an emerging adult engages in an exploration of their motivators and interests, we have witnessed an increase the pace of finding their career. As we previously noted, 80% of college seniors desire career assessment because they do not know where to begin. Our survey shows that the three main sources of information for students are parents, friends, and professors. Any survey should include an examination of the student’s needs and interests. Findings in those areas offer insights into where your newly minted graduate will thrive, not merely survive.

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