College Career Center Study 2014

Over 50% of college students are either unemployed or underemployed with the average student debt over $29,000. This issue has placed a lot of attention on universities and their role in helping students get professionally prepared and find jobs.


Our recent study found that students view career centers as an incredibly important part of the college experience, but said they are lacking in key areas from staffing to how often they tweet out roles and events. It’s time for universities and career centers to re-think how they engage and support job seeking millennials.

Major Findings:

Our report found that career centers are stretched thin financially and struggle to help students develop their career path. Most students want career centers to focus more on workshops and advising as most students have become comfortable using online resources for direct internship and entry-level job searching. Here are a few more key findings:

Survey Methodology:

Students ranked their career centers from 1 to 5 on each question showing how much they agree or disagree. Survey was answered by students at over 700 universities from around the country and in all grades ranging from 1st years to seniors. Over 4,000 current students participated and answered questions anonymously.

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Download Looksharp and Millennial Branding's Guide "10 Tips to Create the Ultimate Career Center." This free whitepaper compiles advice from thousands of students and hundreds of career centers and highlights 10 actionable tips guaranteed to increase your student engagement rate.Download our FREE Guide

Case Studies and Advice From Three Top Ranked Career Centers


Penn State: Placing the Emphasis on Career Counseling

Penn State career services offers a unique hybrid counseling model, where they have one centralized offce, as well as specialized offces that support each individual college. They have someone who is in charge of relations between each individual center and faculty make it mandatory for students to get to know their centers. They offer counseling with students with no appointment necessary and refer students to individual counselors by appointment if necessary. Penn State has a total of 74 "career days" with 5,168 employers and 42,144 students participating. Overall, Penn State is committed to working for students individuals, updating them on social media, and connecting them with their vast employer database.


-As told to by Jeff W. Garis, Ph.D., Senior Director, Career Services & Affliate Professor, Counselor Education, The Pennsylvania State University.


University of Maryland: Using Creative Social Media to Engage Students

Social media plays a pivotal role in helping the University Career Center at the University of Maryland create a buzz about career development for 37,000+ students. The Center tweets up to 200 job leads, job search and workplace insights weekly; hosts several employer Tweet Chats each semester; distributes weekly major-speciffc electronic newsletters to 18,000 students; and, posts timely “how-to” visual aids and 15-second advice videos on Instagram. The Center’s social media circuit has more than 5,000 followers. A shiny red “Career Caddy” golf cart roams the campus handing out 25,000 event invitations, "CAREER the Turtle" t-shirts and interview prep bags stuffed with goodies. Other innovations include Career Shuttles; where small groups of students are transported to on-site visits at corporations, NPOs and federal agencies, and The President’s Promise, which proactively connects students with internships, service learning, study abroad, and undergraduate research opportunities. Approximately 86% of all graduates participate in some form of experiential learning.


-As told to by Kelley Bishop, University Career Center Director, The University of Maryland


Bentley University: A Career Path that Starts Freshman Year

Bentley University’s successful HIRE Education Program features a four-year approach to career development. The program has one area of focus for each college year: freshmen “Explore” who they are and what interests them, sophomores “Experiment” with career paths, juniors “Experience” by applying their knowledge to more advanced internships and recruiting and seniors “Excel” with a successful transition into the workplace. Exposure to corporate partners begins early with a Career Development Introduction Seminar (CDI 101) for first year students. CDI 101 focuses on career exploration and developing a job search toolbox. The course also puts freshman face-to-face with employers who conduct mock interviews and provides students with a “workplace readiness” seal of approval. Ninety-five percent of the current freshman class has opted to take the seminar, which is followed by CDI 102, a one-credit internship that provides their first workplace exposure. Hands-on experience gives Bentley students an edge -- more than 90 percent of our students complete at least one internship and 60 percent complete two. Our approach delivers results: 98 percent of Bentley’s 2013 responding graduates received job offers or are in graduate school, delivering on Bentley’s promise to prepare students for a successful life and career.


-As told to by Susan Brennan, Executive Director of Career Services and Corporate Relations, Bentley University


Free Career Center Whitepaper
Download Looksharp and Millennial Branding's Guide "10 Tips to Create the Ultimate Career Center." This free whitepaper compiles advice from thousands of students and hundreds of career centers and highlights 10 actionable tips guaranteed to increase your student engagement rate.Download our FREE Guide

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