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College students say that the most important reason for higher education is to ensure they find a good job. Yet, according to a recent survey by Strada Education Network and Gallup, there is a skills perception gap. Only 35% of current college students feel confident that the skills they are learning are enough to prepare them for the workplace. Additionally, only 53% of students feel confident that their major or field of study will lead them to a good job.

So why all the lack of confidence?  Are colleges not teaching the right skills to their students, or is it that students are not seeing the value in their learning?

Non-Traditional Students Have a Clearer Vision of Their Future

Many high school students are unsure which career path they want to take, and yet, they’re encouraged to declare a major and begin down a specific path at only 18 years old. In order to properly choose a major–and the right school to pursue it in–students need to understand which skills and jobs are the most in-demand in the job market.

According to the Strada-Gallup report, 43% of non-traditional students – those aged 24 or older – are confident that they are learning the skills they need to find a good job in the workplace, as opposed to traditional students at 35%. These non-traditional students who have had more experience in the job market are likely to better understand where they see a career for themselves. They choose higher education with a specific career in mind. And, as has been well documented, non-traditional students are outpacing traditional students in postsecondary enrollment.

Understanding the Job Market is Critical

Another key finding from the Strada-Gallup report is that career services centers are being severely under-utilized by students. A whopping 39% of current college students say they have never visited their school’s career services office. Overall, it’s clear that non-traditional students have a stronger end goal in mind. Connecting career goals to coursework is a major reason these students seek out higher education. By contrast, traditional students may be more doubtful and need further guidance as to which career path they should take. In both cases, students might be more confident if they had better information on  which skills are the most in demand in the job market, and how the courses they are taking will put them on a path to career success.

This is why we created Career Insight – it gives students and prospects a clear vision of which career paths are available to them based on their skill set and the courses they take at their university. With the help of Career Insight, we aim to boost students’ confidence and improve their career success. To learn more, contact us today.

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