College career centers have the resources, know-how and networking to make the best use of your learning and experience and connect with your ideal career. An experienced team of professionals with helpful resources is at your disposal and ready to help. Their mission is to help you find a career path that aligns with your interests and qualifications. Let’s look at what they have to offer and how a career center can help you transition into a great job after college.
With world-class resources, decades of experience, and dedicated counselors, colleges throughout Mississippi offer students an invaluable resource in the form of career centers. These offers are designed to help students identify their strengths, find a meaningful career path, write a compelling resume, develop important job skills, connect with potential employers, and much more.
Here, we’ll take a deeper look at what career centers can provide students and how best to take advantage of these offers.
What do career centers look like?
While schools offer support to help students transition from college to a professional job, not all career centers are the same. In Mississippi, some of the primary differences are found between smaller community colleges and larger universities. School sizes, budgets, and degree options all influence these following differences:
Community Colleges - Community colleges tend to offer degrees that can be completed in a shorter amount of time. As a result, their connections might tend to focus strongly on careers that only require an associate degree. Due to the smaller budgets of these schools, you can expect to have a limited number of counselors but also less competition from fellow students.
Universities - Larger universities are typically well-funded, allowing for more comprehensive and sizable career centers. There will be more counselors with a wider range of specialties, but this also comes with more students vying for the same offers. You can also expect a broader network of connections at universities, although some specialty colleges might focus their career center heavily on one industry.
Links to the career centers of popular CCs and universities:
Alcorn State University
Coahoma Community College
Copiah Lincoln Community College
Delta State University
East Central Community College
East Mississippi Community College
Hinds Community College
Holmes Community College
Itawamba Community College
Jackson State University
Meridian Community College
Mississippi Delta Community College
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
Mississippi State University
Mississippi University for Women
Mississippi Valley State University
Northeast Mississippi Community College
Northwest Mississippi Community College
Pearl River Community College
Southwest Mississippi Community College
University of Mississippi
University of Mississippi Medical Center
University of Southern Mississippi
How has COVID impacted these resources
It’s typical for schools to have career center resources both online and on-campus. However, the recent pandemic has forced colleges throughout the state to focus more of their efforts online. With fall around the corner and some schools reopening, some colleges will reopen their on-campus career center but with limited time and availability. You should first contact your school’s career center by email to get a better idea of their current operations.
The advantages of using a career center
Networking opportunities - Everybody’s heard about the importance of networking when looking for a job. Even though it’s a cliche statement, it still reigns true. Knowing somebody who works at a business or in a field you want to enter gives you an in that other applicants don’t. Fortunately, career centers are excellent places to build networks. Many offer alumni records that give current students possible connections with previous attendees. Sometimes, even speaking with career counselors is enough to land you an important phone number or email.
Mock interviews - Even the best resume can’t make up for a fumbled interview. That’s why career centers make a point to help students sharpen their skills in this department through mock interviews. You can practice important points like holding eye contact, avoiding ‘ums’ and ‘ers’, and speaking loudly and clearly.
Career aptitude tests - Returning students don’t have to already know their desired career path to take advantage of the career center. Many schools offer career aptitude tests, both online and in-person, that can help suggest potential careers based on your skills, likes, dislikes, personality, and other important factors. Depending on how the test is administered, you might even get a chance to go over the results with a knowledgeable college counselor who has helped countless students find a rewarding and meaningful career path.
Resume assistance - When looking for a new job, your resume is the best tool for conveying your skills, accomplishments, and capabilities. If you’re having trouble knowing where to begin, your school’s career center can help. Not only have these counselors helped hundreds of students perfect their resumes, but they also know what employers are looking for on these documents. To really get your name out there, some college career centers even make business cards for students.
How to make the most it
- Start early - The sooner you take advantage of your college’s career center, the better. Establishing a network, building your resume, improving your interview skills, and all other offerings require time to fully realize. You’d hate to wait until that last minute to reap the rewards of this free perk.
- Find a knowledgeable counselor - Sometimes, colleges have career counselors that specialize in a particular field. If you’re confident about a chosen career path, it’s better to work with one of these knowledgeable professionals. For example, if you’re looking to pursue a job in a pharmacy, there might be a counselor who focuses on helping students enter the medical field.
- Reach out consistently - Although career centers are there to help students, you still have to do some heavy lifting. To take full advantage of these offers, you should contact counselors regularly, reach out with questions, use their resources, and always check for important updates with new offerings or unique events.
- Check online resources - The recent school closures across the state shifted the way students interact with colleges. As many classes have moved online, returning students will be happy to know that many career center resources are made available through the school’s website. It’s important to check online to see what your school is offering until things return to normal.
Returning to college gets you more than a degree
If you’re looking to break into a new industry, get promoted, earn more money, or reach brighter horizons in general, there’s no doubt that returning to school has crossed your mind. While completing your degree is certainly a highlight of the experience for both personal and professional reasons, that’s not all you stand to gain. You see, schools offer a host of resources through dedicated career centers to help students transition into careers that fit their strengths and pay well. It’s a hidden perk that all students should know about and take advantage of.
C2C is here to help
Before you can take advantage of these career-boosting offers, you need to return to school! That’s where the C2C Program comes into play. With the help of a C2C Coach, eligible participants will discover the fastest route towards graduation - depending on their previous college experience and work history. These dedicated coaches will support you every step of the way from enrollment until graduation. The C2C Grant also helps students cover the costs of returning to college.
Speak with a C2C Coach today to see if you qualify.