The Promise of Job Placement
It may not be exactly what you think it is.
With the way that the economy is right now in the US, going to school is no longer enough to guarantee a job once you have graduated. It is all about experience, references, education, and connections. Having just one of these four things is not enough, having two is rarely enough. Because of this fact, when college kids choose a college, a lot of them have begun looking at schools with job placement assistance for their graduates. I know I did when I chose my college. The problem is job placement is not guaranteed, no matter what their supposed success rate with it is, and there is a lot of small print attached to it that they do not disclose.
Did you know that almost all colleges with job placement will only help you find a job that utilizes your degree? Now, I know some of you are saying "but that's what I want, that's why I got the degree." So let me ask you this, what if in your area there aren't a lot of jobs for that degree right then? What if those jobs don't pay what you need them to so that you can pay off your loans or survive? What if despite having the education you are missing the other three things that qualify you for a kick butt job in your field? This is a problem I ran into. I have my degree, but before receiving my degree, all of my work experience was in customer service, mostly call centers. With this said, all my references were also through customer service. So right there I was missing two key pieces I needed to get a job in my field.
When I brought the urgent need of getting a paid job to survive and asked for job placement in any field, I was told they would only help me get a job in the field of my degree. Over a month passed and I had been sent on two interviews. The first interview was a complete joke. Not only were they just starting out and weren't sure they could pay me, but they also asked for large amounts of work experience in that field. Now, if you haven't worked with a job placement specialist yet, I will let you know that you send your resume to the specialist, discuss in detail exactly what you are looking for, what you need out of the job, and the qualifications you have with them before they even start looking for you. So my first interview set up by my placement specialist made me worried. My second interview told me that the worry was not misplaced. My specialist sent me to a employment service telling me it was an interview where I then discussed all the same things that I had with the job placement team. No job came out of that one either and I wasted, gas, time, and faith in the help I supposed to be receiving.
After all of that, I still continued to work with the job placement specialist because I figured some help was better than none. Maybe I would get lucky and find a diamond in all the garbage they were sending me on. But then a horrible thing happened to me and my family. We got hit by a hurricane that did more damage than we could have expected. Due to the damage, we were forced to relocate to a different state with my in-laws. I stayed in contact with the job placement people as much as I could and received promises of help despite having to relocate. Once we got up here and were settled, I began actively searching for a job again I spoke to my specialist on a daily basis. Little did I know at first that another part of that lovely small print was that your school's job placement is only valid in the state or area of the school. Their connections do not reach out of state because most franchises, unless its fast food or Walmart, are not nationwide.
The school continued to make promises and call me every day with nothing new to tell me. They would say that they are still trying, but never had any options or interviews for me. Our move was in the beginning of October and it is now November. The last time I even heard from my school by phone was more than two weeks ago. However, right around the same time I received an email asking me to sign a document that says I no longer want job placement help. Due to them not being able to help me, they have not only given up, but are asking me to sign a paper saying I am the one requesting them to stop trying so that it doesn't hurt their job placement rate. This same rate is what made me choose this school and its the same rate that will get other people to choose this school. Because all anyone is looking for anymore is security. Security to pay your bills, to work, to feed your family, and to put gas in your car. The security that tells you that you have a future.
I know that this can't possibly be accurate of every school. I am sure that there are schools out there that do an amazing job finding their graduates jobs. However, if you are like me and choose a school based off of the job placement percentage, I ask that you are very careful. It may not be exactly what you think it is.