Although employers generally value similar skill sets, some industries require specific
degrees and related certifications to be eligible for entrance and advancement. Others
value a variety of educational backgrounds. In addition to earning a degree, extracurricular
activities are important to a successful college experience.
In a recent survey, employers were asked if they had equally qualified candidates,
what attributes would influence their candidate selection decision. “Major” and “has
held leadership position” tied for first, while “high GPA” and “has been involved
in extracurricular activities” tied for second** demonstrating that employers value
both education and extracurricular success. Encourage your student to:
Research. The Career Development Center is a great place to start. Our career counselor will
help your student discover the education and skill set required for any careers of
Talk to professionals in their intended field. Direct your students to the Career Development Center where we can find them a contact
through our career mentoring program. Professionals are eager to share their knowledge
and experience with students.
Test drive career choice by participating in a cooperative education or internship position. Students can get a taste of what life will really be like after college when working
in the real world. By working a student’s major career field, students can see if
this major/career is really right for them. If it is not, there is still plenty of
time to change majors before graduation day. Plus, with real-world work experience,
students can increase their chances of landing their dream job after graduation, all
while building a collegiate resume, earning a paycheck, developing future contacts
and improving job search and interview skills.
Participate in extracurricular activities. Support your student's efforts to become involved in one or more of the 150-plus student
organizations on campus or in the city of Wichita. Volunteerism is another way to
build skills and add to a resume. Many employers look for someone who wants to give
back to the community.
Practice time management and balance. In a perfect world, your student could do it all and do it all well, but understanding
limits is an important part of the process. Ask your student questions that help to
identify priorities. Most employers would rather hear about a few select, meaningful
experiences than several superficial ones.
** According to National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) data collected
from a 2010 survey of 197 employers about what skills and qualities they felt were
most important when hiring employees.