When it's time to choose a college, it can be an overwhelming task for some as it decides the future. Which is why there are 10 questions you should ask when you go college hunting or go on campus visits.
No matter how many brochures or websites are there for your perusal, it does not make the job of choosing a college any easier. Career services departments may be there to help you on your way but ultimately, the choice should come from you.
It is crucial to ask the right questions when making the decision. As you walk the halls of each university or college and ask about the campus environment, here are some questions you might want to ask the staff:
1. Does your career outcome collection process align with the standards published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers?
It is important that these institutions follow the metrics provided by the NACE when it comes to employment and education of students within six months of graduating.
2. How many graduates do you have outcome information for?
NACE also encourages graduate information as a knowledge base in order to achieve the aspirational benchmark of 65%.
3. Where are the graduates working now?
It is best to inquire about the employer and alumni networking that exists in the school. Alumni profiles can show you, at least in face value, how far they have achieved.
4. What is the median income earned by graduates?
The College Scorecard shows information regarding undergraduate income, loans and debt. Find out the percentage that earns more compared to someone who only has a high school diploma, for example.
5. What other metrics are available?
Ask questions like if the graduates were satisfied with their employment? How many job offers did they get? How many were actually hired?
6. What services are provided by the campus Career Center?
There should be a continuous support even after graduation. Are there career exploration and career planning?
7. What types of experiential learning is required of my academic program? What percent of students engage in high-impact activities?
This shows career readiness. Quality programs in schools recognize enrichment through curricular and co-curricular activities.
8. Is funding available to support experiential learning?
If you're planning on relocating, expenses can be a burden. Does the college assist in scholarships or financial aid opportunities that you can avail?
9. What types of career events are hosted annually?
Planning your career starts even before you enter college. It's best to know if the school has activities that encourage career growth and development. Job fairs, internships, seminars, etc.
10. What career services are available to support alumni after graduation?
Lastly, it doesn't stop once you graduate. On-going support should still be provided to the alumni. The campus should help secure their graduates' future.
These are 10 career questions you should start asking when looking for a college. These questions were compiled by Billie Streufert from Augustana University, S.D. You may have follow-up questions that are also crucial for your growth and it is always best to ask them before choosing your future.