Ohio State research-based approach is helping link students to careers
For The Ohio State University, preparing students to head to the workforce doesn’t end when they receive a diploma. The work continues to keep them connected to a career.
That was the message Thursday as university leaders presented new details on outcomes after graduation to the Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee of the Board of Trustees.
“When we think about our students now, especially our millennials and our younger generations, they are experiencing the world of work in a very different way,” said Senior Vice President for Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston. “Our educational and career preparation approach needs to be different in order to meet those needs.”
Adams-Gaston said Gallup research shows millennials are more mobile, holding an average of four different jobs in the first 10 years of their careers and are anticipated to have between seven and nine careers in their lifetime.
She said the challenge for educators is working to make sure those students are prepared. Adams-Gaston said a renewed effort began in 2009 to look at the skills student would need in an evolving workforce and to make sure students had the skills employers were seeking.
Anne McDaniel, executive director of the Center for the Study of Student Life, said the university takes a research-based approach. The university-wide graduation survey has been administered every semester to all graduating students, with few exceptions, since 2011.
The survey includes data on students’ job searches and career placement, helping reveal trends in student satisfaction, learning and career outcomes.
“Results from the graduation survey tell us that our students are extremely satisfied with their experiences at Ohio State,” McDaniel said. “And when it comes to career preparation our students are getting the experiences they need during college to be successful in the labor market.”
McDaniel said 77 percent of students at Ohio State complete an internship, co-op or other career experience. Half of those students who complete the career experience end up taking a job with that organization at graduation.
Trustee Cheryl Krueger asked if the university is using personality assessments to help students find the careers where they are most likely to be successful.
McDaniel said Ohio State is working to help understand their strengths, particularly when it comes to the skills employers are looking for such as leadership, communication skills or problem solving.
Adams-Gaston said Ohio State’s commitment to career planning continues to be guided by the university’s new strategic plan and the emphasis on improving teaching and learning. The university’s focus on access and affordability is also critical as state education leaders are working to boost the state’s work force.
This week, state education leaders, including the Inter-University Council of Ohio, proposed a goal of 65 percent of Ohio adults to have a degree or career credential by 2025. Currently 44 percent of Ohioans have achieve that level.