Providing career services for college students has become a hot business — even if many colleges themselves haven't yet figured that out. Students, parents, and employers have made it clear that they expect colleges to do more to prepare students for a job market that's rapidly evolving. Meanwhile, a growing number of private companies are stepping into the void, offering boot camps that help students develop marketable skills, networks of mentors, and other success strategies. Some are working in partnership with colleges. This special report on innovation examines some of the career-counseling efforts underway — by colleges, start-ups, and collaborations between the two. Nervousness over the economy and questions about the value of a college degree have contributed to growing expectations that colleges must make career services a priority. One thing is clear: In today's economy, waiting until senior year to start thinking about a job won't work.
As the traditional system of evaluating colleges is increasingly criticized as out of touch with the needs of students and employers, reformers seize a new model.
Higher education must show students how to adapt to the fast-evolving 21st-century economy before outside ventures step in and do it for them. Here’s where to start.
Examples from innovative colleges suggest that one key step in improving career prospects is for colleges and employers to collaborate in deeper ways.