For most college students, the receipt of a degree is important, in part, due to the expectation that job availability will increase. Degrees alone don't guarantee a job, however, so most institutions maintain a Career Services department. The goal of Career Services is help ensure job placement, but debates arise regarding what it takes to have a successful Career Services department, how effective are placement departments, and how effective should they have to be.
One of the key factors is knowing how to market the students. For example, Liberal Arts is such an encompassing major that personnel learned to explain to prospective employers that the students would be highly trained in "communication, teamwork, and critical thinking skills" (189). According to Nell, studies showed that students who mastered these three attributes retained their jobs longer, and were promoted more quickly. This was a salient point for prospective employers. Also, a class was created called Transitions from College to Work, and made mandatory for all upcoming Liberal Arts graduates. The university was pleased with its results, and Nell quoted one official as saying, "We believe that we have illustrated a model for any institution to use, regardless of size, organizational structure, or resources" (192).
Most placement departments intend to stay competitive, and use a variety of means to do so. In "Jump-Starting the Job Search," Tricia Bisoux writes that many departments dedicate at least one person "solely to corporate relations" (24). She added that good departments also "increase their travel time and visit companies throughout the year to stay in contact" (24).
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