There are many reasons as to why people go to college, however a major reason is to improve one’s career prospects. You may have a dream job in mind that you cannot access unless you have a college qualification (such as medicine and law). In other cases, having a degree may not be necessary, but could still put you at an advantage over candidates without a degree.
If you do decide to get a college education, you’ll need to work out the right subject and then find the right college. Many people choose a college based on factors like location, facilities and whether the course looks interesting, but what about job prospects? Can the college you choose really impact your chances of landing the right job? In some cases, yes. This post explains how your college choice could impact your career prospects.
Do I even need to go to college?
You can get into many jobs without a college education. In these cases, having a diploma from a certain college usually won’t matter.
Other companies may prefer you to have a college education, although it may not be mandatory. In other cases, companies may insist that you have a college degree, but may not specify exactly which type of degree. In these cases, a college education can make a difference, although it usually still won’t matter where you’ve gone to college.
The jobs where you need a specific degree are the ones where you really need to consider the type of college you go to. For example, if a company insists that you have an engineering degree, you can expect lots of other candidates to have the same qualifications as you – the only thing that may set you apart is the grade you achieved and the college you went to.
How does the reputation of the college make an impact?
Some colleges are more prestigious than others – a qualification from one of these reputable colleges can make you a much more worthy candidate when applying to competitive positions at big companies.
This is particularly the case if that college is known to specialize in a certain subject. It’s why Michigan Law is so popular among budding lawyers trying to get into top law firms, and why MIT engineering is so popular among engineers trying to break into the top engineering companies – these schools are known to have the best resources and produce the most successful alumni.
If you want to get access to a top company, having a degree from a top college could be essential. Look at university rankings and guides to help identify the top colleges in your area of study. At the very least, you should try to look at what levels of career success previous students have had when going to a certain college.
How is the course geared towards career success?
Some courses have added modules aimed at teaching practical career skills. For example, there are English courses that may allow you to take modules in professional communication or journalism that could help you to develop skills to better lend your degree to a certain career.
If work experience is as important as an education, it could also be worth looking out for colleges that offer courses with sandwich years. These provide a year of work experience in between your studies. The best colleges will often offer sandwich year placements at prestigious companies. This could be something that you definitely want to factor in.
What career support services are available at the college?
A good college should have decent career support services. Such services should be able to help you with tasks like writing the perfect application, helping you prepare for interviews and helping you to find vacancies or work experience placements. This could be something worth researching into when choosing your college. Clemson and Bentley are two universities that are particularly renowned for their on-campus career services – you can find more information on university career services online.
Some colleges may also be known to host extensive job fairs and possibly host career workshops from top industry experts. Boston College is particularly known for this, as is CalTech (which hosts two giant job fairs per year). This could be something else to look into as it could improve your prospects.