5 Ways to Secure Your Career While You Are Still in College
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

5 Ways to Secure Your Career While You Are Still in College

You can improve your opportunities before you graduate

5 Ways to Secure Your Career While You Are Still in College

According to the survey that Jeffrey J. Selingo had conducted for his book There is Life after College, two-thirds of college graduates struggle to launch their careers. Only 35% of college graduates land a job right after college and are on the path to a successful career. These are the so-called sprinters and they all have a few things in common. Intrigued?

First of all, a whopping 97 percent of them were employed in their field of study. Also, the vast majority of sprinters had at least one internship during their undergrad years. More than a half were sure of their major the moment they began their studies. As you can see, having a clear goal early on pays off.

Another surprising detail: 43% of these lucky devils had less than $10,000 in student loan debt. Yes, as it turns out, starting your degree at a low-cost community college might be a better choice than shelling out for a prestigious one. At least you won’t have to take the first job offer half-heartedly just to pay your bills.

Does this mean that if you already have a hefty student loan and aren’t sure about your major you can start panicking? Well, there are more productive things you can do. Read on to find out more about the ways to secure your future career. Keep in mind though, that you must start acting soon, while you are still in college.

Take an Internship

Internships earned a bad rap after many Millennials struggled to break the vicious circle of unpaid on-the-job traineeships during the Great Recession. Back in 2012, young adults might have had a total of five years of hands-on experience and still no paid position. However, it does not mean that internships are evil per se.

Experienced-based learning provides you with a deeper insight into your field. Internships and apprenticeships allow you to practice skills that you hear about in the classroom, thus enhancing your academic successes. More importantly, you will acquire the set of soft skills needed in a workplace – critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to communicate and work in teams.

Concrete practical skills (both soft and technical) replace diplomas in the requirements sections of job ads. Degrees and grades were a proof of candidate’s job readiness for decades, but today many factors interfere with this signal (such as the spread of online services that help a student to achieve better academic results).

Do not take off time from college

While taking a gap year before college might be a good idea, slowing down when you already started college is a bit different. If you are too hesitant, you might end up with lots of college credits, but no degree and no plan for the future in your late twenties.

A pre-college gap year gives you an opportunity to explore what truly interests you. However, if you are already in pursuit of a degree, it is better to be more persistent and soldier on. A degree opens more doors and makes you more resilient to macroeconomic challenges. A survey from CareerBuilder found that one-third of employers are bumping up education requirements for new hires. It means they demand a bachelor degree for the position that early was accessible with a high-school diploma and a master degree for the jobs where a bachelor used to suffice.

Anyway, it’s never too late to switch careers later or combine jobs, if you’ll find your current field not fulfilling enough. Switching jobs or getting additional training is still much easier than landing the very first job and obtaining your first college degree.

Chase the experience

Once you are in the college, you should make the best of the time you have on campus. Dive into the toughest majors, undertake undergraduate research, find challenging courses, and grab the opportunity to take part in a variety of student activities. All this will arm you for the complexity of the work life after the college. Today employers expect even computer science graduates to come to entry-level positions with more than sheer technology expertise. The more aspects of business and communication you know the better.

Also, do not hesitate to apply for student exchange programs. Studying abroad and learning foreign language broadens your horizon and teaches you something that no college can – life itself. You will find that there are more ways than your own, and there are more truths than one. It also puts your readiness for the independent life to an ultimate test.

If your college of choice is in your hometown and you live with your parents instead of campus, I strongly recommend at least a short-term exchange program.

Do your own networking

For some reason, students do not take the opportunity to benefit from a career office every school has. They either neglect to ask the offices for help or aren’t satisfied with how they function and what they offer. It’s a shame. Your school career office can connect you with the alumni in your desired field of work. These people can fill you in on the realities of the job interviews, writing résumés and cover letters, and actually working in the industry.

You should go to industry events and finally set up your LinkedIn profile. Yes, now, while you still in college. Promote yourself, build connections, and collect recommendations for little gigs and seasonal jobs you do. A habit of updating your LinkedIn profile is in itself a useful skill worth developing.

Apply, apply, apply

Getting a job is as time-consuming as actually having a full-time job. Be prepared to send application after application. Some specialists believe you should apply for 30 to 40 jobs at once. Of course, you should concentrate the most on 1 to 5 companies that you are really motivated to work in. However, do not wait around for too long – consider alternatives.

Also, do not restrict your application to the official site of your potential employer. Use LinkedIn, Facebook and personal connections to get in touch. If you know someone, who works where you want to work, reach out and ask for details. Do not give up. The sheer persistence might be the crucial trait that will make you stand out among dozens of other students.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments