Best Colleges for Career Services

Badge with 1-Line TitleBest Career Services2016
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A college’s career services center operates as an invaluable resource that’s often available not only to current students but also to graduates. Career counselors and the support they provide play an important role in helping students transition from education to vocation.

However, the difficulty of that transition can depend on external circumstances beyond students’ and counselors’ control. Case in point, the detrimental impacts of the Great Recession in 2008 took a particularly heavy toll on the professional welfare of recent college graduates. Though the job market has recovered somewhat, the residual effects of the recession linger – underemployment for recent graduates sits at 25%. That means a quarter of this year’s graduating class won’t find a job befitting their level of education and will instead land work as bartenders, customer service representatives, administrative assistants, and in other similar positions.

It’s still a scary job market to graduate into, but students have a resource they can turn to for guidance in finding work that’s tailored to their interests: career services. The best colleges and universities dedicate an entire department to career services, helping students navigate the shift from the college environment to a professional path that suits their interests, skills, and education.

Below is a ranking of colleges based on the quality of career services available on their campus and online. This list was derived from statistics on job/internship placement and the counselors’ level of experience at each center. Additionally, students who took advantage of the career center at each school were surveyed about their satisfaction with the experience.

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Rank Name Description
1

Southwestern University

Southwestern University’s Office of Career Services offers students and alumni a wide variety of career services. These range from individual career counseling to workshops focusing on topics like resume writing and interviewing skills and include internship opportunities and connections to employers, graduate schools and other career-related resources.

2

Clark University

Clark University’s Career Services Office offers students one-on-one career counseling as well as a number of online support tools. The office provides guidance to students interested in graduate school, desiring career related experience before graduation and looking for jobs after completing their degrees. The office also has a library of tutorials and hosts the Clark Recruiter, a database of job and internship opportunities and employer information.

3

Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University offers its students career guidance through its Office of Personal and Career Development. The office provides students with a supportive environment designed to help outline clear and personal career goals from the first moment students arrive on campus through workshops, internship and job opportunities that meet the needs of students throughout their years at school and beyond.

4

Sweet Briar University

Sweet Briar College’s Career Services Center has been designed with the idea that career planning is a process that does not stop when the student graduates. The center offers students and alumnae guidance and tools to make clear career plans and fulfill them. The center has a four year program, offering students different services each year as they help them towards graduation and a career.

5

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Office of Career Services and Employer Relations offers a student-centered experience where no appointments are ever needed to receive career guidance and counseling. Students are encouraged to begin using career services from their freshman year so they can take maximum advantage of the training, internship and job opportunities available.

6

University of Florida

The University of Florida’s Career Resource Center is focused on helping students use services and opportunities such as tutorials, workshops, internships, studying abroad, graduate schools and career fairs to create successful career journeys. The center offers workshops on everything from preparing a resume to dressing for success and hosts career fairs and showcases.

7

Northeastern University

Northeastern University’s Career Services is committed to offering students guidance in choosing a major, exploring career options and making career decisions that will lead to productive career paths. The office provides tools and services such as workshops on salary negotiations and career fairs, to prepare the students for job searches that end successfully.

8

Pennsylvania State University

The Pennsylvania State University’s Career Services office provides students with assistance in identifying and developing career goals. The office offers personalized career counseling, a variety of courses and workshops to prepare for the journey into the professional world and many programs and events designed to further prepare and support the students as they begin acquiring work experience through internships and get ready to begin interviewing for jobs.

9

University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin’s Career Services office focuses on providing guidance, internship and job opportunities to the students so that they can develop clear career goals and begin successful career paths. The services offered include personalized counseling, workshop and other training and networking and connection opportunities with prospective employers.

10

Barnard College

Barnard College’s Career Development department is committed to offering students all the tools necessary to prepare them for successful careers, including training, internship, postgraduate and employment opportunities. Career Development provides students with self-assessment tools as well as an extensive library of supportive materials so that students learn to make the best decisions about their careers.

11

Macalester College

Macalester College’s Career Development Center provides counselors to guide students in their career paths from choosing a major through active job searches and exploring graduate school options. The counselors help students with career planning, utilizing assessment tools and testing and offering training workshops that include resume writing and interviewing skills.

12

Waynesburg University

Waynesburg University’s Office of Career Services assists students from the moment they are considering attending the university, through all their years at Waynesburg and even as alumni when they are considering changing careers. The office provides guidance with internship and job opportunities and hosts employment fairs throughout the year.

13

West Liberty University

West Liberty University’s Learning and Student Development center offers career guidance and assistance to students. Their goal is to provide a smooth transition from student life to professional life by offering students the tools necessary to succeed, including access to training, internship and job opportunities.

14

CUNY Hunter College

Hunter College’s Career Development Services assist students and alumni with their career decisions through many tools, including career fairs, job and resume databases and networking opportunities available through this office. The counselors help students design and implement a career development plan and offer access to internship and job opportunities.

15

Mississippi Valley State University

Mississippi Valley State University’s Career Services Center is focused on helping students connect with the people, organizations and tools that will allow them to become successful in the careers of their choice. The center serves students and alumni by forwarding their resumes to prospective employers, holding on-campus job interviews and hosting annual networking conferences.

16

Blue Mountain College

Blue Mountain College’s Career Services offers students a variety of services designed to develop career plans and job searches. The office supports students by using tools such as job inventories and interview training, by offering workshops and classes to develop job search skills and by hosting on-campus job interviews.

17

Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater State University’s Career Services office seeks to guide the students in designing, developing and implementing a clear career path. The office offers a program that includes career planning, self-assessment, internships and career management. Other services offered include workshops and classes as well as hosting events such as job fairs and the Experiential Learning Expo.

18

Kansas City Art Institute

The Kansas City Art Institute’s Academic Advising and Career Services office offers individualized counseling to students to help them prepare, develop and achieve career goals. The office provides access to internship and residency opportunities and hosts workshops and events including a networking reception.

19

Dowling College

Dowling College’s Career Services office is dedicated to assisting students in planning and implementing career plans, searching for and acquiring jobs and changing careers. The office offers career development workshops, hosts recruitment fairs, and provides access to internship and job opportunities.

20

American Jewish University

American Jewish University’s Academic and Career Services Department offers counseling, career plan development, graduate school planning to students as they prepare to join the professional world. The department also offers workshops to develop job search skills, internship and job opportunities, a mentoring program and an annual Opportunity Fair.

21

Caldwell College

Caldwell College’s Career Planning and Development Office assists students by helping them explore career options, providing job shadowing and internship opportunities, and supporting them through job searches and graduate school researching. The office offers workshops and tools such as assessments, online job boards and the annual Career/Internship Fair to help students fulfill their career goals.

22

Brooks Institute

The Brooks Institute’s Career Services office offers support to students in the development of their career plans. The services offered by the office include workshops to develop resume writing and interviewing skills, part-time and internship opportunities, a Senior Seminar to prepare students for graduation review and assistance with graduate employment.

23

Laguna College of Art and Design

Laguna College of Art and Design’s Career Services office offers assistance and guidance to students as they prepare and implement a career plan. Some of the services offered include access to internship and job opportunities, workshop for resume writing and career building and access to the alumni network.

24

University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Career Services supports students in their career plan development and job search by promoting connections between students, alumni and employers. The office provides career counseling, practice interview programs and skills workshops, career fairs and programs, as well as internship opportunities and job listings for both part-time and full-time positions.

Resume Services

The first step in a job search is creating a resume. Offering information on a job candidate’s educational background and previous professional experience, a resume functions as a first impression on prospective employers. A recent study shows that the average employer only looks at a resume for six seconds before tossing it out or moving on to the next. In those six seconds, a candidate must grab their attention and stand out among the rest of the hopefuls.

Career services centers offer professional help with drafting and formatting resumes, working with students and graduates to fine-tune their first impression on potential employers. From style and content changes to grammar review and final spell-check, these services can prove invaluable for job-seekers.

Interview Practice

After an employer receives and approves a candidate’s resume, the next step in the process is an interview. Typically the first in-person interaction between a job-seeker and their potential employer, an interview allows the employer to gauge a candidate’s interpersonal skills and demeanor. Additionally, a prospective employer will usually use an interview to glean more details about a candidate’s previous experience and professional capabilities.

Because the interview is such an important phase of the job application process, it’s critical for job-seekers to prepare as much as possible. Career services centers provide support in this arena as well, offering mock interviews and addressing students’ concerns about what to wear or what to say. By taking advantage of these services, students and graduates can ease their fears about interviews and improve their chances for success.

Job/Internship Search

In the age of the internet, where new sites are created every day and misinformation can go unchecked, searching for a job or internship is an art form. The professionals at career services centers can help students and graduates wade through the muck to find suitable and stimulating opportunities. Additionally, counselors teach students how to use their personal and professional networks to find work, approach companies for informational interviews, and much more.