4 Steps Toward a Rewarding Career
College is a time to learn, grow, and – ultimately – prepare for life and a career. Many employers seek career-ready college graduates equipped with previously acquired experience and skills in a given field. Thus, gaining those resume-builders while earning your degree has become completely essential.
Taking advantage of your university’s career-readiness programs will make all the difference when getting ready for, applying to, and performing well in a job. Explore the programs, seminars, and career-launching opportunities you can take in college so that you stand out from the crowd during your career search.
1.) Accelerated Degree Programs
Accelerated degree programs offer highly driven and motivated students an option that can greatly reduce the cost of a college education and places them in their careers sooner. Spending less time in the classroom and more time in the workplace saves money and provides more options for graduates as they are on their career quest.
Not all institutions provide accelerated degree options, but it is certainly something to consider when you’re searching for or applying to a college.
2.) Applied Learning
Applied learning opportunities give students a chance to directly immerse themselves in a field of interest. It’s a way to get your hands dirty and find out what really happens on a day-to-day basis in a given field. Your hands-on experiences become your teacher and the world-at-large becomes your classroom.
These opportunities are perfect for gaining knowledge and refining your interests; many times, they open the door to more in-depth experiences. Applied learning includes in-class opportunities, study abroad, cross-cultural trips, and internships. Most colleges offer, or even require, applied learning experiences for students.
Internships tend to be much more in-depth and formal, taking applied learning a step further into career-readiness. They’re job or task-specific exchanges of service for experience between a student and a business that are formative to expertise. Internships are perfect indicators that you are on the right track and help weed out potential positions that may not be fitting.
Within an internship, “soft skills” are the invaluable traits you begin to learn that are foundational in your professional propriety. Deepening your understanding of workplace collaboration, business etiquette, and strong communication tactics are all vital elements to becoming career-ready. There is no better way to acquire those skills than jumping into a corporate setting and preparing to learn more – and, many times, it can lead to part-time jobs or even careers after graduation.
4.) Professional Development
Professional development seminars, networking or career fairs, mock interviews, and etiquette courses become the “cherry on top” when refining skills and preparing for the workforce. Internships or part-time jobs help build a resume, but a strong commitment to individual growth helps set job applicants apart from their competitors.
Deliberative preparation for a rewarding career is a must. Seek the intentional programs your college offers in order to develop yourself professionally. Investing in career-readiness practices will help give you the broadest spectrum of opportunity when sending your resume out.
At the core, career readiness is about strengthening character, sharpening competence, and preparing for service. Grace College’s Center for Career Connections is fully committed to helping students in every step of the career journey as they ready themselves personally, academically, and professionally.