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Career Services: What “Top Ten” Colleges Offer

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  • In our last article, we discussed the importance of what your prospective University offers in regards to Career Services, since students can use all the help they can get as they’re exploring career paths, and weighing their options. Today we continue by listing some of the services offered by Universities ranked in the top ten versus ones that aren’t. 

    What “Top Ten” Colleges Offer

    Each college in the “top ten” offers tips for writing your resume and for writing cover letters. They all hold mock interviews and most of them have connections with alumni that are ready to be made. Not all, but most of them have links that allow you to explore different career fields, and other links that show you current job openings and internship openings. Both private colleges and public colleges have pretty similar resources, but each individual school happens to offer something unique that separates them from other universities. For instance:

    Swarthmore College:

    • Offers salary information about potential jobs in order to give students another perspective

    Harvard College:

    • Provides data that reveal what recent alums did after graduation—where they worked, where they lived, what transportation they used, etc.
    • Provides ways to connect with professionals to enhance your network.

    Williams College:

    • Gives statistics that show you how their student body views the career center: the majority “strongly agrees” that the career center has offered helpful advice about taking the next step.
    • They also strongly agree that they offered sound advice about both general and specific career fields.
    • “Workplace Issues”: a section that informs students of which hardships to expect, and then also how to prepare for them. This list includes disabilities, under-representation, LGBT issues, etc.

    Top public colleges also offer unique resources through their career centers.

    University of Virginia

    • An interactive “Career Development Model” that includes a step-by-step approach to the job search process. In the first step, they help you to understand your “interests, skills, values and personal attributes.” The second is an opportunity to learn about resources that may help you explore career options. The third is their offering to help you “reach your goals.” And the final step, after you have job offerings in your hand, helps you to “maximize your decisions.”
    • UVA has access to career assessments right on their website!
    • They also have a blog that addresses some common problems and dilemmas, presents advice to students, etc.

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    • A career log and a “Tar Heel Career Kit”
      • Allows students to explore internship and job opportunities as well as upcoming events such as career fairs and interview practices.
      • Equips students with some networking tips that they can use in a variety of situations

    The New College of Florida

    • Not only to lists job openings but also lists opportunities for volunteer work.

    What the Not-Top-Ten Colleges Offer

    Although these guys didn’t make the prestigious top ten, they offer similar, if not better career services. As I mentioned before, they offer mock interviews, resume and cover letter help, and insight into different fields.

    Clemson University

    • Teaches students how to market him/herself effectively when applying for jobs.
    • Teach students how to evaluate and negotiate job offers once the offer has been extended.


    • Highlights online resources and provides direct access to them. Such resources include: LinkedIn, InterviewStream, and Career Vault.

    As far as public colleges go, again there is little difference from private colleges and universities.

    Washington State

    • Offers something fantastic and very unique: career courses that students can take for credit towards graduation. (We all know that job searching in and of itself is a job. It is very possible to spend just as much time researching jobs, writing cover letters, applying for jobs and interviewing for jobs, as you spend time doing work for a scheduled class.)
    • Well-being workshops in preparation for the work-world and for current college life inside and outside of the classroom.

    Wake Forest University

    • Offer advice directly towards specific classes (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, etc), and tell them what they need to do at their stage of the game.
    • They have a very helpful blog that is insightful, informative and well thought-out.
    • They also post weekly internship opportunities to keep students on their feet.

    Molly McShea works at StrengthsInsight as a Marketing Strategist. A former varsity athlete at Georgetown University, she has a passion for linguistics, learning new things and discovering more about the world.