Study Says College Freshmen
Hunger for Career Help
A new national research study indicates that 66% of entering
first-year college students would welcome career guidance
assistance. The research was conducted by Noel-Levitz, a consulting
firm used by over 1,800 colleges and universities to help
address the issues of student recruitment and student persistence
to graduation. The survey instrument used for this 2007
National Freshman Attitudes Report was completed by over
97,000 first-year college students last summer and in early
High interest in obtaining career counseling was evident
across all institutional types and categories of students.
A full 66% of the students said they would like help selecting
an educational plan that will prepare them to get a good job.
Over 62% of the students indicated they would like to talk
with someone about the qualifications needed for certain occupations.
Almost half the students reported that they would like some
help selecting an occupation that is well suited to their
interests and abilities.
"These findings prove the need for consistent and constant
conversation with students about degree planning, goal achievement
and persistence," says Kevin Crockett, Noel-Levitz president
"Getting a good job and preparing to be better off financially
are among the leading reasons students are going to college,
according to research done by the Higher Education Research
Institute,1" according to the Noel-Levitz summary. "These
motives have become even more pronounced in recent years."
The results from the survey reinforce the Alfred P. Sloan
Foundation survey results discussed in the 1999 book Ambitious
Generation: America's Teenagers, Motivated But Directionless,
by Barbara Schneider and David Stevenson. (See
The Sloan study detailed the high college and career ambitions
of adolescents and the need for parents and educators to help
students plan what they want to do and how to go about doing
it. In its summary, the Noel-Levitz findings "bring to
light a sobering disparity: Although the vast majority of
today's first year students arrive at college really wanting
to complete their degrees, only half of them are likely to
accomplish their goal." The report notes, "In short,
the aspirations and intentions of nearly half the respondents
are going unrecognized." There is a need to build on
students' initial commitment to college, address their expectations,
and tap their receptivity to assistance.
The increasing evidence found in these research studies continue
to build the case for increasing students' Career
Literacy knowledge and skills. As adults, we have
an obligation to actively assist students in overcoming the
obstacles they face in achieving their educational and career
goals. Early career and college major planning is key to getting
students not only on track - but on the right track - to their
success. Only then will we have a generation of new workers
who more skillfully manage their careers, maintain employability
amidst change, and enjoy making their unique and needed contributions.
1 Higher Education Research Institute, The American
Freshman: National Norms for Fall 2005 (Los Angeles: Higher
Education Research Institute, UCLA, 2005).
Read the 2007 National
Freshman Attitudes Report in its entirety.
© Copyright 2007, Career Vision. Article may be reprinted