The minds of most college students today are occupied by a single thought – will I land a job after I’m done with my education?
While some may find it strange that a soon-to-be college graduate would be worried about finding a job, the reality is that in today’s world, having a college degree does not guarantee placement in any industry. Of course, having a degree will increase your chances of landing a job, but a large number of recent college graduates today are unemployed or underemployed, meaning that they are working jobs which are unrelated to their degrees.
If you are not planning to study further, and you want to move out of your parents’ house as soon as possible, it is imperative that you find a job and start working right after college ends. Don’t wait until your senior year to start thinking about what you want to do with your life! Here are a few ways to prepare yourself for the job market while you’re still in college.
Reduce Your Debt
To give yourself an advantage over other college students going into the job market, you may want to consider reducing the amount of debt you have. So while you are in college, it is best to stay with your parents, use old textbooks, and perhaps work a part-time job.
This way, you can save a lot of money, and being able to manage your finances wisely will give future employers a great first impression.
Check Out the BLS
If you still aren’t sure about the industry in which you want to work, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website. Here, you will be able to see the various career paths that you can follow, the average salaries, and even the number of people who will be required to fill these positions in the future.
Find a career path where there is a need for a large volume of workers in the future, and work towards attaining a position that interests you. It is difficult to enter a saturated job market, and in a few years, the average salaries may fall as people start to accept lower pay.
Create a Portfolio of Experience
College isn’t just about classes, assignments, and parties. You want to start building up your portfolio of work from the time you are in college, so sign up for work-study programs, apply for summer internships, and enroll in volunteer work.
College provides you with ample time to plan for the future and find work, while also pursuing extracurricular activities that interest you. Use this time to create an impressive portfolio that you can show off to employers once you are done with college. When applying for a job, it is great to let an organization know what you can do for them, but also to show what you’ve already done.
Build a Network
Landing your dream job can depend greatly on who you know in the job market. So, make sure that you build an impressive network by the time you’re done with college.
You can do this by volunteering at various organizations and socializing with some higher-level executives. Also, most colleges hold conferences, seminars, and other networking events where you will be sure to meet influential people working in different areas.
Do some research about these events to figure out who is coming and whom they work for, so that you have something to discuss with them.
This will also help to build confidence for when you meet with other potential employers.
Some colleges even have alumni networking sessions where ex-students are invited back to college to speak with current students. Talk to your predecessors and see where they are working now. You never know who might offer you an opportunity at one of these get-togethers.
These are a few things you can do while you are still in college in order to increase your chances of future success in the job market. College is definitely about having fun and making friends, but it is also an important time when you can prepare yourself to tackle the outside world.