October 3, 2017
Over the past two summers, the UofL Career Development Center has met with more than 1,400 incoming students at orientation sessions. Students learn about career services at the University and are prompted to think about the connections between their choice of major and career. We use this opportunity to survey students about several career development issues and the results are revealing.
We found that almost two-thirds of incoming students are at least somewhat unsure about their career goals, and 20% are totally unsure. Some of the greatest concerns of incoming freshmen include finding a job that connects to their major after graduation, the consequences of changing majors, and committing to a major/career that they will enjoy (and that will pay) “for the rest of their life.”
In 2017, more than 22% of respondents said that they planned to use the Career Center to find internships. Closely following, 20% (more than 500 students) planned to schedule an appointment to explore careers.
Some things we heard from these incoming students included:
- "It's okay to be unsure."
- "you're not along on finding jobs."
- "I did not know that I could get an internship through school."
- "Start to plan for your future early.":
Dean of Students Michael Mardis notes that career is a driving motivator for new students. “When we ask entering freshmen why they come to college, one of the largest reasons that they say is to get a job.” Our orientation meetings with incoming freshmen verify that the career development work being done with students from all disciplines across our University by hundreds of staff and faculty members is perceived to be very important and highly valued.