WHITE PAPERw w w . i a o . o r gRE-VISIONINGCAREERSERVICES FORSTUDENTS SUCCESSINTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATIONORGANIZATION
Table of Contents1231415Executive SummaryIntroductionCareer Services for Students SuccessIndustry OverviewCareer Preparation on Campus – An Outdated ModelIndustry ChallengesReinventing Career Services – Industry OpportunitiesFramework for New Career ServicesThe Future of Career ServicesConclusionAbout IAO
Executive SummaryExecutive Summary1Owing to the globalization, education and technologyhave been transformed over the past several years.Educational programs, policies and career servicesfunction within colleges and universities have alsobeen significantly impacted. In the past, if a college wassuccessful in training a student for the workplace, andthat student met or exceeded the standards in his orher chosen field, then the college had done its job –thats not enough anymore. Students who have spentthe last three, four, five or even more years preparingthemselves for the workplace are strained by a tremen-dous amount of pressure only to find their dream jobsare not waiting for them because of recession.The economic downturn require career services teams to elevate their support to a higher level by helpingstudents navigate the process, connect with employers, and secure a well paying job in their field of study.Due to the recent shift, colleges and universities need to take a closer look at the level of career servicessupport they are delivering to students beyond the learning experience. They need to advance careerservices to truly support students, graduates and alumni across the education lifecycle. They need to havethe systems and processes in place to connect students and employers so they can drive higher placementrates and track the career services outcomes to meet new regulations. Institutions need to look for newways to help graduates succeed on a professional level, develop a more strategic approach so they canproduce better student placement rates, which in turn can also support stronger student recruitment andhigher student retention rates.This white paper from IAO is aimed to highlight the career service trends that colleges and universities mustconsider in order to deliver a higher level of support to students beyond the learning experience. It outlinesthe steps colleges and universities can and should take to advance career services, achieve higher place-ment rates and better support students and graduates. IAO has discussed that colleges and universitiesshould address the following factors within their career services organizations:• Stronger relationships between employers and institutions• Automated communications between students and the schools career services team• Dedicated career guidance services staﬃng• More student self-service functionality• Increased tracking and measurement
IntroductionIntroduction2It is that time of the year when students graduatefrom their educational universities or institutes.However, the economic uncertainty hasdampened the celebratory mood and spirits ofthe graduating classes. Universities andinstitutes will face tough questions from parentswho will want to know how the school is helpingtheir child to find a job and succeedprofessionally. The desire to see an immediatereturn on the investment (ROI) of a collegedegree has never been stronger.Students and their parents focus on the choice of which school to attend, and then expect the strength ofthat choice to lead to professional success four years later. The challenge for university and college leadersis to ensure that students have a variety of learning opportunities to prepare them to succeed professionally.From day one, students should be able to connect what they are learning both in and outside of theclassroom to their long-term goals. However, with the traditional career services model, universities andcolleges will be unlikely to meet the twenty-first century needs of their students and alumni.Colleges and universities are now required to take a closer look at the level of career services support theyare delivering to students beyond the learning experience. The need of which arose after the currenteconomical changes. The institutions need to find new and better ways to support students, graduates andalumni by advancing career services alumni across the education lifecycle. They need to have the systemsand processes in place to connect students and employers so they can drive higher placement rates andtrack the career services outcomes.This paper describes the mounting importance of connecting a college education to professional success. Itsuggests a few factors that the university leaders should ask about their career programs and offer examplesof projects that can help to strengthen career development on campus amidst these times of deepeconomic uncertainty.
Over the past several years, the career services function within colleges and universities has beensignificantly impacted. Owing to the economic downturn career services teams are required to elevate theirsupport to a higher level than in the past years.The recent recession has put a tremendous amount of pressure on job seekers. Among those facing thesechallenges are graduates who have spent the last three, four, five or even more years preparing themselvesfor the workplace only to find their dream jobs are not waiting for them. The current economy is creatingchallenges for career seekers that those from previous graduating classes didn’t face. It was not long agothat employers had to step up their recruiting efforts in order to attract and court future employees.Graduates entered the job market having their pick of opportunities and even the ability to negotiatesalaries.However, the recent recession has changed thatdynamic dramatically. Today, there are fewer jobsand more competition to acquire those jobs. Morepressure is being put on colleges themselves tohelp graduates secure job placement and launch acareer in the student’s field of study.According to the Chronicle of Higher Education,many alumni are either unemployed,underemployed, or in positions that do not matchtheir qualifications or professional interests. PhilGardner, Director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University told theChronicle of Higher Education, “We’re going to have three, probably four classes that are really not engagedor aligned in the labor market at all. Theyre working in jobs that they dont have aspirations for, workingmultiple part-time jobs, or theyre underutilized in their positions.”Career Services for Students SuccessCareer Services for Students Success3
Career Services for Students Success4Industry OverviewMarket DecreaseBetween March 2011 and March 2012, the unemployment rate more than doubled for collegegraduates—from 2.1% to 4.3%—as over one million college graduates lost their jobs. To compound theproblem, about 1.5 million new college graduates are expected in 2013. It is likely that liberal arts studentswill be hit hardest; in a recent survey by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute, only six percent ofemployers report that they want to hire humanities or liberal arts majors, and only five percent are lookingto hire social science majors.Demand IncreaseNow more than ever, current and prospective college students are making enrollment and retentiondecisions based on the quality of professional preparation at colleges. In fact, according to EduventuresResearch Company, professional preparation is often a more important factor in decision making thanaffordability, and is on par with academic quality.
Career Preparation on Campus – An Outdated ModelCareer Services for Students SuccessNo right processes to communicate with employers and students and also no systems to connect themand monitor their interactionAbsence of data management practices and so the students could not reach out to employers to marketthemselvesAbsence of data management practices leads to the lack of a comprehensive database of qualified candi-datesLack of a proper data management system also shows that the institution is incapable of allowing employ-ers to access student applications and post open positionsNo track of career services outcomes in terms of student and placement dataEase of availability of data to pull the reports and analytics to prove placement and complianceExistence of systems to follow up with alumni and track career resultsCareer Services ReportingCareer Services ManagementCurrently the universities and institutions did not have proper resources to offer proper student careerservices and support. The following management and reporting practices are being sued in their systems andprocesses.5
Until recently, schools haven’t dedicated a lot of resources to career services because stronger market condi-tions meant it was easier for graduates to get jobs. This also meant less post-graduation accountability on thepart of institutions. If a college was successful in training a student for the workplace, and that student met orexceeded the standards in his or her chosen field, then the college had done its job.The stronger economy in the past has enabled colleges to put resources into other places, namely recruiting.Getting the right students enrolled in the right programs not only had a direct financial benefit to the institu-tion, but it also increased the likelihood of producing successful graduates and qualified job applicants.While this approach has helped more students fulfill their academic potential, and enabled colleges anduniversities to deliver their academic missions, it has yielded some challenges:Industry ChallengesStudents Placement Rates – institutions that can prove their placement rates will be entitled forstudent fundingCareer Services Department – institutions need to dedicate more resources so that graduates canconnect with employersJob Placement – institutions need to place more students into jobs to see an increase in studentsenrolment and retentionCareer Services for Students Success6More Graduates, Less Jobs – Higher education is now in a situation where colleges are produc-ing an increasing number of qualified graduates, yet these graduates have fewer career opportunities infront of them. On top of that, because the recession has resulted in challenging times for graduates, thegovernment has stepped in to oversee recruitment and placement activities to ensure institutions are incompliance and students’ needs are being met.More Graduates, Less Resources – Until now, higher education has had to deliver minimalresources to help students find and secure available jobs. Fewer jobs lead to more competition amonggraduates, leaving students who don’t come out ahead of the pack with very few options.Although experts predict that economic recovery isn’t far off, over the last few years, there has been morepressure for schools to make sure their graduates have the necessary skills to attract employers. However, itgoes beyond simply preparing students for the real world. Fewer jobs means no matter how qualified thestudent is, he or she needs more help navigating the placement process. Colleges are being expected to shoul-der some, if not a lot, of this responsibility. To support students through the career placement process, thegovernment has taken the following initiatives and the institutions now need to take care of:
Career Services for Students Success7While colleges and universities are starting to establish and step up their career services activities, thereare still tremendous opportunities to improve in this area. A well thought out and proactive approach tocareer services can produce the following:Better Placement ResultsIt is about more than making sure students are qualified. Colleges and universities that take theinitiative to help students prepare for the job application and interview process, as well as helpstudents and employers connect; will increase the likelihood that their students will secure jobs.Increased Retention RatesColleges that build relationships with employers and the community, as well as establish themselvesas the go-to partner in providing qualified graduates in specific programs and fields will increase jobopportunities for students. Institutions have an opportunity to become incubators for certain profes-sions, increasing the possibility that employers will come to them directly to hire graduates. Becausestudents know that these relationships can produce good job prospects upon graduation, they will bemore likely to stay engaged in school and retained through program completion.Stronger Recruitment and EnrollmentInstitutions that earn a better reputation for placing graduates will be able to leverage that data intheir recruitment efforts and enroll more students as a result. Higher placement rates can have a directimpact on recruitment numbers as prospective students look for schools that can help them succeedboth academically and professionally.Reinventing Career Services – Industry Opportunities
8FrameworkQuestions About Your InstitutionBefore doing anything, of course, you must assess your current situation and needs. Start by asking simplequestions about your institution and your career services operation to identify top priorities.To what extent is our institution’s leadership team committed to student and alumni professionalsuccess?Are we communicating this commitment to prospective and current students and their families?Should our faculty members play a more active role in promoting the professional success of theirstudents?Have we adequately connected academic advising and career advising?Have we built in opportunities for applied learning through co-ops, internships, research with faculty, orservice learning?Could we make more effective use of work-study funds to help students build relevant work experience?Are we leveraging our assets in our alumni, parent, and local communities to support students in theirprofessional pursuits?Are there opportunities for my institution to differentiate itself from peers around professional prepara-tion?Questions About Career ServicesDo career services staff members have the background, experience, and knowledge to connect studentsto a broad range of resources and opportunities?Are career services staff members well versed in the use of social networking and technology to find jobopportunities?Is our career services oﬃce proactively reaching out to employers and driving demand for our students?Are the alumni affairs and career services divisions effectively collaborating?Is our career services oﬃce adequately funded and appropriately staﬀed given institutional expectationsfor results?Are our career services goals contributing to our institutional goals?Colleges and universities need to implement the systems and processes that will allow them to increaseplacement rates and track data. Bringing software into the mix can make it easier to connect students andemployers, creating greater eﬃciencies and stronger results. It can also facilitate reporting capabilities soinstitutions can stay competitive and compliant. There are specific actions that students, employers andinstitutions need to take, and information they need to access in order to strengthen placement results.There are specific actions that students, employers and schools need to do in order to strengthen placementresults.Career Services for Students Success8
9 Career Services for Students Success9Student NeedsBuild an Online ProfileStudents need to be able to showcase their academic, personal and professional accomplishments inorder to attract employersAttach a Cover Letter and ResumeStudents need to be able to upload and update attachments in order to communicate their careergoals, experience and qualifications; they also need to be able to provide viewing access to potentialemployers.Search Employer ProfilesStudents need access to the various employers who are hiring in their field so they can align their skillsets and goals with organizations for which they would like to workSearch Job/Internship PostingsStudents need access to as much real world experience as possible in order to get their foot in thedoor with employers.The solution: A student portal is critical to enabling self service capabilities so students can promote their skills andachievements, find job opportunities and connect with employers.It isn’t enough anymore to simply gain the skills necessary for job success, rather students need to be able tomarket themselves to employers. Colleges and universities need to provide a place and a process forstudents to do this.
Employer NeedsThe shift in the job market has meant that employers have been able to be more selective in the hiringprocess. As we embark on an economic recovery, that may or may not continue. Regardless, employers alsoneed to be able to market themselves, as well as search for and easily connect with qualified candidates.Create Company ProfileEmployers need to be able to communicate their value proposition to future employees in terms of theirbusiness model, markets served, mission, culture and goals.Post Job Openings OnlineEmployers need an eﬃcient way to spread the word about job opportunities to anetwork of students and graduates who will most likely meet prerequisites.View Student Background and ResumeEmployers need to be able to quickly and easily learn about and qualify prospective applicants.Generate Resume BooksEmployers need to be able to compile resumes from qualified applicants in order to compare skill setsand achievements, and seek out the most appropriate candidate.The solution: an employer portal can enable a company to strengthen its ties with a college or university.This increases the likelihood that the organization will look to that institutions as a reputable source of jobseekers, connect with those candidates, and expand their employee base.Career Services for Students Success10
As colleges and universities take on greater accountability in job placement, they need to look for new waysto help students and graduates succeed beyond the classroom on a professional level. They can accom-plish this by delivering a higher level of student support throughout the education process. They also needto work closely with employers to make sure job candidates are meeting employer expectations, as well asconnect these job seekers with their potential future employers. When it comes to supporting students,institutions need to do the following:Track Student Information for AdvisingCareer services advisors need a comprehensive tool set that enables them to track the student throughthe job search, assessing qualification and activities, as well as conducting follow ups.Integrated Academic and Demographic Information - Advisors need a centralized place to access thestudent’s information, from grades to career goals so they can make sure the student is confident andcapable in his or her chosen field, as well as on track to meet employer requirements.Contact Management and Communication Tools - Advisors need to be able to regularly reach out tostudents regarding such things as resume suggestions, new job postings and more.Profile Background, Skill Sets and Preferences - Advisors need to be able to easily compile a student’sinformation in order to identify career opportunities that would be a fit for the studentTrack Opportunities and Career Services OutcomesCareer services advisors need an eﬃcient way to stay on top of all postings so they can better matchqualified students with job opportunities; they also need to manage and measure which postings securehires.Track Placement Information, Salary and Employment Historycolleges need an easy way to analyze how many students are being placed, what they are earning, thesuccess rate of each student once placed, and the career path each student follows out of institutions.The solution: an employer portal can enable a company to strengthen its ties with a college or university.This increases the likelihood that the organization will look to that institutions as a reputable source of jobseekers, connect with those candidates, and expand their employee base.College and University Needsa.b.c.Career Services for Students Success11
The solution: an employer CRM will enable the college to establish and grow relationships with a network ofemployers, providing them with greater insight into what employers are looking for so they can producequalified graduates.12When it comes to engaging with employers, institutions need to do the following:Communicate with and Manage Potential EmployersColleges need a tool set that will enable them to build stronger employer relationships in order to bettermatch students with jobs, as well as to secure the institution’s reputation as a credible source of qualifiedgraduates.Track Multiple Locations and Contacts per Employer – Institutions need to make sure they alwayshave a current database of employers with which they can connect students.Track Multiple Opportunity Types - Advisors need to be able to analyze job details, such as full time,part time, hourly, internship, externship and more.Contact Management - Advisors need to be able to track current and past outreach with employers tosee which relationships are in good standings and where additional outreach is necessary.Communication Tools - Advisors need to be able to proactively reach out to employers to reinforcethe relationship and stay top of minda.b.c.d.Track and Manage Job RequisitionsCareer services advisors need an easy way to follow existing and new job postings so they can matchqualified applicants with those employers and opportunities.Manage Alumni Network at the EmployerThe career services team needs to be able to track and report on the number of students workingwith a specific organization so they can assess the success rates of graduates by employer, as well asdetermine organizations where their students’ skill sets are the best fit.Career Services for Students Success12
Career Services for Students Success13As more colleges and universities look for ways to boost career services and meet new federal regulations, aswell as learn specifically what works and what doesn’t work, what can institutions expect? Higher education ispositioned for a renewed focus on career services where it will experience the following trends:Institutions are going to be working closer with employers, communicating on a more regular basis toensure students are acquiring the skills employers want, and employers are providing employment oppor-tunities to qualified students from specific schools and programs. Colleges and universities will need tomake it easier for employers to post job openings online and view a student’s background and resume.We’ll see more proactive communications between students and a school’s career services team to makesure students can effectively market themselves to employers. We’ll also see this outreach start earlier – forexample, instead of waiting until a student is one month away from graduation, the placement processmight start 6 months to a year prior to graduation.We’ll see shift in career services organizations to include more staﬃng and resources dedicated to place-ment support. Not only will we see an increase in career services headcount, but also increase in the servicelevel they deliver to students. Sheila Curren, author and leader in the field of student career services, hit thenail on the head when she said, “I think a fundamental change needs to take place in the way career centersare organized, and in the training that is given to career services professionals. Good career services canmake a huge difference to a student’s ultimate success after graduation.”Institutions will implement the tools and technologynecessary to more effectively track employer and jobposting information, as well as measure placementresults. Colleges and universities will identify key perfor-mance indicators (KPIs), including placement byemployer, program and student; volume of job postings;and average salary and debt of graduates so they canmake more informed decisions in order to provideincreased support to students seeking targeted employ-ment..The Future of Career ServicesStronger Employer RelationshipsAutomated CommunicationsMore Student Self-Service FunctionalityIncreased Tracking and Measurement
Higher education knows that something needsto be done. The industry is seeing a shift ascareer services gain traction in priority andimportance primarily because of the currenteconomic situation and government interven-tion. Institutions must evolve their careerservices and placement strategies, as well asreallocate money and staff given the regulatorylandscape.From an accreditation perspective, collegesneed to prove placement as an end result ofstudent success. Almost all accrediting bodies assess placement rates, though in different measures, as adetermining factor in a college securing and maintaining its accreditation. Again, the loss of accreditationcould likely mean the loss of enrollments and the departure of programs.The argument of this white paper is that campus career centers and student employers must work together toimprove retention and success by providing specific types of employment opportunities, such as internshipsand part-time jobs. This type of collaboration must be based on a sound understanding of the ways thatemployment affects retention and success. A strong professional preparation program is a long-term invest-ment that will have an immediate impact. The summer is an ideal time to conduct an assessment, design astrategy, and begin to implement changes.While there is little data out there that speaks to placement results across higher education, the consensus isthat there is tremendous room for improvement. Colleges and universities need to set their goals higher inorder to:• Exceed accreditation requirements• Stay compliant with federal regulations• Recruit at a higher level• Fulfill the obligation a college has to its students and graduatesConclusionConclusion14
About IAO15About IAOAccreditation and educational quality assurance are essential factors that complete the educationalecosystem. While regional accreditation bodies have dutifully evaluated education providers on a regionalscale; a body to recognize and accredit education providers on an international scale was needed in thewake of growing globalization. With more students studying at Educational Institutions or working forcompanies outside their home country, it was imperative to create standards that are both regionally andinternationally recognized and accepted.To accomplish the challenge, IAO created a unique Points Profile System by organizing the best globalpractices in education in one place. IAO gathered educational quality assurance standards from around inworld in collaboration with various regional accreditation bodies and created evaluation criteria, thatworks as a general basis of evaluation for any education provider, regardless of its regional location. Thecore focus of the Points Profile System is to work as an additional international accreditation for educationproviders that will supplement their regional accreditation.The Points Profile System is a dynamic and evolving system that is continually updated in order to caternew developments in the academic world. In relation to this, IAO is also working upon a Points ProfileSystem for students on an individual level that will increase individual acceptability and recognition ofstudents in both educational sector and the employer market.IAO owes its success to its strong network and team of accreditation professionals spread in over 25countries around the world. IAO has also collaborated with regional accreditation bodies to supplementtheir strict accreditation methods with its expertise of standardizing the educational environment interna-tionally. IAO’s expertise and services are also recognized by different global accreditation associations.