Most college students get out of college to face the harsh reality that getting a job isn’t as easy as they had thought.
Contrary to the notion they’ve been brought up with — to “go to college, get good grades and get a job” — they realize the hard way that it isn’t so easy, and that they need to do more than just get good grades in college to get a job. Don’t despair, though. Doing the following five things will significantly increase your job prospects as a college student:
Brush Up on Your Interpersonal Skills: Many college students, especially in this social media age, lack interpersonal skills. Interestingly, though, research shows that 60 percent of employers aren’t hiring applicants due to lack of interpersonal skills. Add not making a good first impression to the mix and most college job applications are dead on arrival.
If you are offered communication classes in college, especially nonverbal communication classes, be sure to enrol in them. Join groups that allow you to be more social. It’ll help you in the very near future.
Gather Job Experience While in College: Many college students are familiar with the catch-22 situation of getting a job after college: As a fresh graduate you apply to companies expressing your interest in getting a job. They ask you how many years of job experience you have. You tell them you have none and they say they need at least a year or two of job experience to hire you. You can’t get hired with no job experience, yet you need job experience to get hired.
The solution to this is simple: while still in college, start to build up on your job experience. Doing part-time jobs, volunteer jobs, etc, slowly and gradually build up experience. When you get out of college and you are able to boast of two years of job experience you slowly accumulated, you just significantly increasedphase out your prospects of getting hired.
Identify Job Trends and Align Your College Education Accordingly: For some college students, by the time they are out of college their job prospects would have diminished significantly. This is because jobs related to what they studied have been phased out. For example, while many jobs have already been replaced by computers, even more will be soon — these include: insurance underwriters, bank tellers, financial analysts and even construction workers. On the other hand, some jobs in some fields (e.g. IT) are struggling to get people and will be available for a considerable long time. According to this compilation of cyber security statistics, for example, there will be an estimated 3.5 million unfilled cyber security jobs by 2021 — up from about 1 million in 2016. In other words, if your college education aligns with cyber security, your employment is pretty much automatic.
Try to Get a Certification: Being certified will significantly increase your job prospects as well as your potential compensation. This especially applies in certain fields. For example, in the accounting field getting a CPA will automatically make you more appealing to prospective employers. It will increase your potential compensation, too. Same goes for getting an MBA in the business field. While having just a degree can still help you get hired, getting a certification will double your chances.
Work Towards an Advanced Degree: Getting a Masters or a PhD will certainly require some extra time, but it is well worth its weight in gold. You can’t get into a lot of management level positions without having an advanced degree. At the same time, a lot of entry level jobs now require you to have at least a Master’s degree before they hire you. Now, what many college students don’t know is that if you want to get an advanced degree, work starts in college. If your grades are consistently poor in college, you could kill your chances of getting an advanced degree. If your grades are consistently good, however, you could get a scholarship.
John Stevens is the founder and CEO of Hosting Facts.
All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.