A defining characteristic of the 21st-century workplace and job market is that they, like our challenging and rapidly changing world, are in a continual state of flux. The job landscape continually evolves as new technologies emerge. Jobs fade away, jobs change in unexpected ways, and new jobs emerge.
In the local and global workplace, educated women have more leadership opportunity and responsibility than ever before as increasingly our communities, our country, and our world require more from college graduates. The length of time people stay in a particular position, or even career field, has shortened, and it is likely that a new graduate will have several different careers during her work life. What will remain constant is her need to be determined, directed, and decisive as she navigates the world of work.
The root of the word career comes from a Latin word meaning “to move, to progress,” and at Alverno College, we view teaching the techniques and skills needed to manage and move careers forward as essential to our students. Career education at Alverno continues throughout all four years of a student’s education. It includes constant access to career counselors and resources, required career courses in most majors, résumé-writing workshops, and targeted career-skills presentations in discipline curricula. Each of these activities is designed to build a strong foundation of careering abilities so that a student graduates with confidence in her ability to direct her future.
The Career Education Center’s courses, workshops, events, and programs are unique in their integration in the Alverno curriculum. They prepare students to make informed career decisions, to establish appropriate goals, to create focused résumés and portfolios, and to be proactive in their approach to developing and managing their professional future.
Career Education Center
The Alverno Career Education Center is the College’s centralized resource for all career and job information. It is a self-paced resource center in which the student can explore her career options and learn careering strategies.
The Career Education Center includes resources for self-assessment, occupational and hiring projection research, résumé development, interview preparation, and professional lifestyle management. Its materials are available in a variety of formats to fit every learning style. The center offers dedicated computer terminals for online occupational research, self-assessments, and job searches, as well as print materials. Individualized counseling is available to all Alverno students.
In Professional Seminar (PCM-411/PS-411), an upper-level seminar, the student takes full charge of her career planning. She refines her personal work/life plan, and applies her careering abilities to confirming a career direction and securing a job.
She uses the Career Education Center’s resources and takes advantage of on-campus interview opportunities with employer representatives. Her growing personal network of contacts and her professional affiliations become resources for career networking. She creates a detailed self-presentation strategy, including constructing résumés. She outlines a strategy for positioning herself with her future employer and colleagues.
The full value of the career education program emerges over many years, as graduates move into their career fields and build their professional lives. Our survey of new graduates, conducted six months after graduation, shows that more than 90% of responding graduates are employed in positions related to their Alverno education and 16% are building their careers by enrollment in graduate programs.