IX. The Right To Standardized Career Guidance & Skill Training
Employers have an inherent obligation to train interns, especially when they take advantage of the current compensation exemption. Students have an inherent obligation to better themselves, especially when it comes to stepping out of the academic bubble to gain the experience they need to launch their career on a foundation of achievement. Academic institutions have an inherent obligation to descend from their ivory tower, especially with deference to current economic conditions and do more to promote experiential education and integration with classroom learning.
As for the need to improve career guidance, consider this: What percent of graduates land first jobs that relate to their degree? Only 53% of students at four-year colleges graduate within SIX years19. This is often a result of students having to switch majors because they failed to get on the right career path in the first place. The result: they must invest more, incur a greater debt burden and forfeit [potential] earnings had they entered the workforce on time. The economy also suffers as a result. One root of the problem is that less than 60% of college students ever utilize their career center20.
a) To formalize a career guidance matriculation process and require every student to go through it. Particular emphasis should be given to sophomore year by when the students should have a better ‘feel’ to clarify their career aspirations and receive ample support to pursue the right degree earlier and, thus, prevent extending their stay. It is noteworthy that schools may resist this improvement as it represents potential lost revenue.
b) To mandate and integrate internship and career preparation certification programs to help students align career pathways with work learning opportunities and perform at their best in a professional setting.
c) We call on Employers to formalize onsite skills training programs [as per Reform II] and we call on the DOL/Government to provide employers with support tools and resources to accomplish this goal [per Reform III].