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Ohio State offers tools to help students fill in-demand jobs

Career planning, networking and hands-on experiences are just some of the workforce-preparation opportunities available to students at The Ohio State University.

Ana Berrios Allison, assessment specialist with the Office of Student Life’s Career Counseling and Support Services, manages a service to help students prepare for life after graduation. Berrios Allison manages Buckeye OnPace, a career development tool that helps students navigate the path from student to employee.

“OnPace is a series of career modules designed for anyone – not only undergrad students but anyone – who really wants to take a role in their own career development process,” she said. “It’s self-guided so students can go to the system and, depending on where they are in their career development process, they can go through any module.”

The modules feature instruction on topics like finding a career focus, how to build an effective resume and advice for negotiating a salary. Buckeye OnPace was developed at Ohio State for Ohio State students.

In addition to career planning information, the program helps prepare new employees for their first jobs.

“It’s also for when you transition to the job market,” Berrios Allison said. “What is it like the first year with an employer? What do you do? How do you learn the culture of the workplace?

“I added modules that are related to diversity in the workplace and how you look for employers that are friendly to who you are.”

Tools like Buckeye OnPace and the university’s career counseling services are some of the reasons why Ohio State gets high marks for preparing students for the workforce. 

In addition, of the most in-demand jobs in the state requiring a bachelor’s degree, Ohio State graduates have accepted employment in more than 90% of these occupations, on average, over the past several years.

A record number of Ohio State students graduated Sunday, and the next step in their lives was clearly on their minds. Many of them were already prepared because of the opportunities they found in the classroom.

“One of the biggest draws to Ohio State, the reason why I came here, was because of the big classes and the opportunity to meet a lot of people and network,” said Sebastian Saw, a health sciences graduate. “Because there are so many people, there are so many opportunities.”

Saw is beginning an internship at a New Albany, Ohio-based pharmaceutical company this summer. He credits the communication and cooperation skills he learned in his classes for his success in getting a job.

These graduates are heading into the workforce at the same time Ohio is drawing attention to the number of jobs, industries and skills that are in-demand in Ohio. The annual In-Demand Jobs Week is designed to help students and job seekers discover, get connected with and learn more about the careers that are available in their local communities.

There are more than 200 occupations considered in-demand by employers in Ohio. Many of those jobs are in the health care field.

Zulal Zeren, a new graduate with a human nutrition degree, said she’s ready to pursue a career as a sports dietitian because of the experience she gained at the Wexner Medical Center and working with student-athletes.

“It’s amazing. I don’t think I could get this much experience somewhere else,” she said.

Berrios Allison said the combination of a hot job market and the quality of students graduating from Ohio State means students can afford to be selective with their opportunities.

“Why will I compromise four years of work and education just to get whatever comes first?” she asked. “Really look for a place where you can be you. From a professional standpoint, you need to feel like your skills are being put to use.”