Do Graduates Feel Career Ready?


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Gracie Burgess, Staff Writer

“Do graduates feel career ready?” I believe that this is a question that many seniors and soon-to-be graduates across campus dread. It can be difficult to find a career in the current market we are living in. Either jobs are not hiring, they’re doing internal hires, or they are extremely competitive and are looking for experience over education level.

I have said for many years that my degree only means that I was able to survive a few years in college. Employers do look for a degree, but they especially look more for hands-on experience. In my situation, I came into college wanting to be an exercise science student. From there, I wanted to be an athletic trainer or sports medicine physician.
However, that is not the case anymore. I am a health science student with a minor in marketing and I will be working towards a master’s degree in marketing or journalism.
Everyone has a different situation in college. Some come in knowing what they want to do and stick with it, while others, like myself, change their minds throughout their college experience. For me, it was too late to change my major. I already started my coursework; I could only add the minor on. My career aspirations have changed to wanting to work in the marketing and communications field.

If I were to personally answer this question, I would say I am not career ready coming out of college. I do want to be clear that this is not FGCU’s fault. Many college students change their minds; This is completely normal. Students feel the pressure to have their lives figured out at such a young age that they struggle when they get into their desired career field. They do not know where to begin.
College prepares students for the “real world” much more than high school ever did, but there is a lot more that I think college can do to help prepare students.

Another struggle is that many do not know how to complete a job interview or cerate a resume. It is also very shocking to me the number of students who do not have a LinkedIn profile. It all boils down to the same reasoning of “I didn’t know.”

I have been very thankful to have professors and mentors encourage me and guide me toward a successful career in the future. Most students do not get that fortunate though. They struggle to know what to do because they do not have a mentor to help assist them along the way.
Many students also realize that the career fields are beginning to require a master’s or doctorate-level degree to be successful. If they do not possess one of those degrees and experience to go with it, they have to start from the bottom and work their way up.

I do want to address the flip side, though.
While a lot of students do not feel career ready, some students do. Students, like myself, have a plan to make themselves successful and have a career they are proud of. Even though I do not feel fully career ready coming off of my bachelor’s degree, I do have a plan for how I am going to be successful. Many other students can speak to the same state. They acknowledge that they are not able to get into a career right off of their bachelor’s degree, but they do know that they are able to create a plan to be career ready and have a successful path.