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  • Use of the Career Center by First-Generation Students

    October 26, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Student Attitudes
    First generation students look at job postings at their campus career center.

    TAGS: technology, student attitudes, nace insights, special populations

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

    First-generation students use online career services more frequently than do their non-first-generation classmates, even though they deem some of these services to be more effective on campus, according to a forthcoming special report based on results of NACE’s Class of 2016 Student Survey.

    Three of the services that first-generation students use online more frequently than do their non-first-generation classmates—individual career counseling, resume writing/reviewing assistance, and practice interview sessions—were ones that they, themselves, deemed to be less effective online. (See Figure 1.)

    First-generation students also used online career skill testing and career assessments at a greater clip than non-first-generation students, although the former found the service to be equally effective whether delivered online or on campus.

    Overall, the frequency with which both first-generation and non-first-generation students entering the work force visited the career center on campus was similar.

    The special report on the attitudes, behaviors, and job-search success of first-generation students will be available later this fall. The report is based on results from NACE’s Class of 2016 Student Survey, which was conducted February 16 – April 30, 2016. Among graduating seniors taking part in the survey, 5,013 self-identified as either first generation (1,925) or non-first generation (3,088). First-generation students are defined as having a parent/parents who does/do not possess at least a bachelor’s degree. The Class of 2016 Student Survey was sponsored by Enterprise. Survey participants can access a full copy of the report through MyNACE. Highlights from the Class of 2016 Student Survey are available at

    Figure 1: Career center services used and rated effectiveness

    Service Used Effectiveness
    First generation Non-first- generation   First generation   Non-first- generation
    % %
    Office Individual career counseling 56.9% 57.8% 3.5 3.5
    Resume writing/reviewing assistance 82.3% 80.9% 3.7 3.7
    Career skills testing and career assessments 38.1% 36.7% 3.3 3.4
    Job-search assistance 55.1% 56.6% 3.4 3.3
    Internship/co-op search assistance 50.0% 46.7% 3.3 3.4
    Practice interview sessions 37.9% 37.7% 3.5 3.7
    Career or employment workshops 46.2% 45.3% 3.3 3.3
    Researching a potential employer 41.8% 39.3% 3.4 3.4
    Using career center job listings 65.4% 60.9% 3.4 3.5
    Online Individual career counseling 25.1% 18.9% 3.3 3.3
    Resume writing/reviewing assistance 54.8% 45.1% 3.5 3.5
    Career skills testing and career assessments 32.7% 25.4% 3.3 3.3
    Job-search assistance 60.5% 62.0% 3.5 3.4
    Internship/co-op search assistance 46.2% 43.6% 3.4 3.3
    Practice interview sessions 25.9% 19.7% 3.3 3.1
    Career or employment workshops 26.3% 21.5% 3.3 3.1
    Researching a potential employer 48.7% 51.5% 3.6 3.6
    Using career center job listings 69.6% 69.5% 3.5 3.5
    Source: Class of 2016 Student Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers
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