Over the past decade, I developed a keen interest in advising/mentoring students and emerging professionals on issues related to career development. I have written on the specific themes of co-creative mentoring and job placement on numerous occasions.
Events that support this interest include:
- In the fall of 2017, I devoted one three-hour session of my Museum Practices graduate seminar to career development. The session readings included A Life in Museums: Managing Your Museum Career edited by Greg Stevens and Wendy Luke, the American Alliance of Museum’s 2012 National Comparative Museum Salary Study, and several others. Fifteen percent of the course grade required preparing a resume, cover letter, and justification for same for a real-time job the student might apply for upon graduation. The enthusiastic student response to the session and project surprised me. Prior to the seminar, not one of the students had their resume or cover letter critiqued by a professional in their field!
- Five years ago, I participated in a focus group of employers who hired graduates from the university where I was teaching at the time. The first question asked of the focus group employers by the university representative was “What is the greatest skill deficiency of our graduates you have interviewed or hired?” All fifteen of the employer participants agreed on the response – oral and written communication skills.
- Over the past decade I have been both pleased and disappointed at the preparation students receive for entering the job market. Some students flow seamlessly from academia into careers and others struggle with even the task of creating a resume. The difference between the two sets of students seems unrelated to their academic successes or failures. At the same time, higher education seems awash in job fairs, career counseling centers, advising and so forth. Yet, something is not clicking.
Today, I created a brief survey to explore how former students perceive the advising they received during their academic career that prepared them to enter the job market. The purpose of the survey is to determine how and where student expectations and needs for career counseling are met. Is higher education meeting these needs? If so, where and how? What resources outside of higher education do students use to prepare for their careers? Now in the workforce, what advice do emerging professionals wish to provide current students in their field?
The survey will take 5 minutes or less to complete and is completely anonymous. No information that provides the identity of any individual survey respondent will be shared with any individual or organization. I will distribute the survey results as follows:
- Minimally, a full summary report will be published on this blog.
- Survey respondents may request to receive a summary of the survey results.
- I fully anticipate the survey will form the basis for an open-source (and ideally peer-reviewed) article that will be made available through this blog.
I will appreciate your distributing this blog post and/or the survey link (http://lsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ekw8fdQMf7Lgz3L) to former students, emerging professionals, educators, and other relevant individuals via your social media, email contacts, or other networks.
Thanks in advance for your help in this project!