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TEDx Conference Hears Careers Services Must Die [VIDEO]

Andy Chan is the Vice President for Personal and Career Development at Wake Forest University and in a TEDx talk he proposes that careers services should die. If you are let down by current careers services or have had a bad experience with them, this talk is a must-watch for you.

Andys’ talk asserted that the typical career service offered at most colleges needs to die. It simply doesn’t address the dynamics of today’s world and students’ needs.

He starts off by saying how he thinks a crowd of angry people is coming universities’ way. When he speaks to a lot of students, recent graduates and parents, some say the university experience was good but most of them say they are pissed. Because the path from college to employment is so difficult and most of them end up unemployed or under-employed.

He then moves on to the topic that I personally am very passionate about. When you interview a freshman, they say they are coming to college to get a better job. Universities say you are going to get great education, be creative, get a broader and global perspective; and all this will prepare you for a rich life and that sounds fantastic. But students are thinking, “that’s all good but we hope a good job comes with that, too”. So universities are making promises that they are not always fulfilling. And that’s what gets students and graduates angry.

He argues that this can be changed.

There are three big trends that are building that tidal wave momentum for change.

  1. The world of work has changed. It’s nothing like it used to be. The world is flat, there are fewer jobs, the market is competitive, and the race is global. Now  employers say that they are looking at schools and colleges to teach students the right skills.
  2. There has been a huge emphasis put on undergraduate programs.
  3. The politicians are getting this act and that’s not a good sign.

Andy is proposing that careers services should die. It’s a very intelligent talk from a careers adviser. As a careers blogger I have argued why current careers advice is useless and why careers services fail to attract students. But Andys’ talk goes into a lot more detail and really informs of some of the issues that could help resolve the lack of student interest in, and improve their perception of the traditional careers services.

What did you think of that? Drop a comment below telling us whether you agree or disagree with Andy. You can read more of Andy’s work on his blog.

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