When thinking about the jobs of tomorrow, many people often think of popular high-demand career industries such as artificial intelligence, software development, engineering, and data analytics. While these in-demand industries and other growth industries will produce new career opportunities, long-term career success for many students is more than choosing a job title that relates to their academic interests. Human resource leaders, hiring managers, and senior leadership in leading companies need employees with the “hard, technical skills” but equally essential are the “soft skills.” Soft skills such as collaboration, emotional intelligence, problem solving, entrepreneurial thinking, and creativity, are needed to thrive in numerous careers.
In many industries, the leading companies are cognizant to the fact that the sincere efforts of academia are not educating graduates with the skills needed to be effective and productive employees. Additionally, study time and extracurricular activities leaves little time for some students to seek out internships, research projects, and part-time jobs. Therefore, employers are finding that entry level employees may be lacking the necessary rudimentary workplace experiences gained by relevant work experiences.
As I presently work with numerous families providing comprehensive college to career planning, I understand firsthand the challenges that students have connecting to the jobs of tomorrow, plus understanding the concept of soft skills. For example, I am impressed by the STEM knowledge of many of my clients but they do not know how to connect their classroom experiences and passions to potential career paths.
The mission at Campus to Career Crossroads is to develop a supportive and individualized partnership with students and their families in order to help them successfully navigate the transitional and complex stages from high school to career. One way that I do this for many of my clients is by taking the unique step of arranging meetings with high-level professionals in a specific field. Understanding hiring needs, entry level salaries, emerging companies, and market conditions can be a powerful way to plan for the jobs of tomorrow. My clients have received valuable career information from top organizations such as the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ford Motor Company, and Allegheny Health Network. They have met with high-level professionals such as presidents to directors to further learn the intricate details of a specific career and some students have even established a professional mentor relationship. Additionally, I have developed numerous industry relationships with colleagues in many high-level positions throughout the country that keeps me apprised of their internal talent shortages so I can appropriately advise students about specific career fields.
Education is a major investment. I believe as families approach the post-secondary planning process, having meaningful career information regarding the jobs of tomorrow is crucial to safeguarding the return on that investment. Campus to Career Crossroads works to educate its clients about tomorrow’s workforce.