4 Ways College Students Hope to Advance in Their Jobs

By Elana Goodwin on August 11, 2017

College students are more focused now than ever on securing and staying in jobs that promise the opportunity for career advancement and growth. It is not just about the money anymore (though that is still a very big part of why college students will accept a job) but also future prospects a job may offer them.

In fact, in a 2015 survey, students and recent graduates mentioned career path 11 percent more often and development 9 percent more frequently as a significant factor they consider when taking a new job, compared to the rest of the workforce. These students are looking for jobs that will help them in the long run, not just in the short term.

To help in your recruiting efforts, here are some ways college students hope to advance in their jobs.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

1. Skills. College students are looking to gain skills in the jobs they take, seeing them more as a stepping stone for their future. Since most entry-level or first jobs of college students or recent graduates are typically somewhat low paying and bottom level, they want to at least be advancing in their skillset while in those roles. That means they want tasks that will allow them to develop their abilities and learn new things so they have something tangible to show from that position when they move on in their careers.

The opportunity to learn new skills and use and develop existing skills is an enticing one to students you may be recruiting, as graduates want to consistently be bettering themselves and preparing for the future and the competitive job market. Picking up new skills in their first job will lead them to be more promising candidates for higher and better positions.

2. Responsibilities. As these young workers put in their time at the company and in their hired role, they want to be advancing in how much responsibility they have placed on them. College students and recent graduates thrive when challenged and are hungry for chances to prove themselves, which only really come when they are given more work and responsibilities that give them opportunities to learn and shine.

When recruiting college students, the promise of more duties being assigned to them after a designated amount of time in that position or after they have shown their employers they are able to handle more is a selling point. Keep this in mind while recruiting as college students want to hear that their hard work will be recognized by their employer and company and that they will be given more challenging tasks since they will be known to be able to handle it.

3. Title. Another way college students hope to advance in their jobs is in title — even if that advancement may be in name only. Going from being an “Editorial Assistant” to “Editorial Associate” or even “Administrative Assistant” to “Executive Assistant” is a change that will benefit the student’s resume. Plus, it will allow the student to feel they have earned a better title after having been in their initial position, even if the bulk of their duties, pay, etc., stay basically the same.

The idea that they can advance from their entry-level position quickly, even if only nominally or minimally, is something these college student millennials will jump at as it speaks to their need for instantaneous or fast gratification. Young workers entering the workforce know they are entering a tough job market so if they take a lower level job or one they feel they are overqualified for, a selling point would be knowing their title can soon be elevated or once they’ve put their time in, there is room for growth.

4. Financially. Of course, while students may be thinking about their future career opportunities and advancement, they are also thinking about money. Just like all other employees, recent graduates entering the workforce want to know there are opportunities for career advancement in their jobs that comes with an appropriate and substantial pay increase.

Getting a raise in their jobs is not something that’s expected right away, but after the standard amount of time in their role and if they do exceptional work, these college students will expect to be rewarded accordingly. This promise of getting more pay as they gain more skills, take on more responsibilities, and dedicate themselves to their job is something students look for when they are searching for jobs. Use their desire to work their way up the corporate ladder and advance financially as a factor in your recruiting strategy.

College students and recent graduates are not really all that different from other employees or job-seekers out there — but knowing that they really value the opportunity for advancement in their jobs will help you better recruit them to positions that will give them the chance to grow and advance.

By Elana Goodwin

Uloop Writer
Ohio State
I love reading, writing, and sweater weather. Also, dogs. That is all. Follow me on Twitter at @EllaRayy!

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