The Value of Online Career Services to Alumni
Alumni communities are highly valued by colleges and universities. They can be powerful spokespeople to encourage prospective students to apply and enroll. They can contribute by participating in events and mentorship programs to expand networks and positively promote the institution. But most importantly, alumni can offer support through financial contribution and donations, which are always encouraged and welcome.
Many colleges and universities offer benefits to their alumni as a way to foster and maintain a close connection. One of the more popular benefits is career services support. If an alumni member is in need of career advice they can call on their college career center for assistance.
In fact, one article lists career services as one of the top benefits alumni associations can offer their community to increase engagement and build good will.
The trick is, most colleges and universities shy away from promoting this benefit too widely for a few reasons:
Colleges and universities have huge alumni networks
It is not uncommon for colleges and universities to have tens of thousands of alumni members. Very large colleges and universities have alumni communities of 500,000 or more.
By contrast, the staffing for alumni career services representatives is very small. The average staffing ratio is 1 career advisor to 50,000 alumni. To help illustrate this number, Yankee Stadium holds a little more than 54,000 fans, and Fenway holds 37,700. (I am obliged to mention Fenway because we are in Boston). This advisor / alumni ration presents quite a proportional imbalance, so we understand why this benefit is not widely promoted in the current model.
Alumni members are often remote and in many locations around the world
Logistically speaking it can be very challenging for career advisors to meet with people who are located in many different places and offer them counseling. It can be difficult to respond when the people requesting assistance are scattered far and wide across the globe.
Alumni have vastly different backgrounds and levels of experience
Effective career advising does offer a standard set of information that can go across most disciplines and industry specializations, but it can pose a significant challenge for career advisor to work with people in varying levels of seniority as well as vastly different professional backgrounds. The advice ends up being shallow and may not meet the person’s needs.
Considering these challenges, we have some good news: there is a way to deliver career services training a vast and distributed alumni community:
This is where Project Me Pro can help.
Project Me Pro is an online learning system designed to teach job seekers (and alumni!) how to find and land a position in the job market. The solution combines self-paced e-learning modules, templates and worksheets for job search materials, a collaboration platform for career advisors to work with students, plus plenty of data and analytics features to track success. We partner with colleges & universities, workforce development organizations, non-profits, career coaching communities and others who help support helping students, alumni and job seekers find employment.
“The average staffing ratio is 1 career advisor to 50,000 students!”
Are your responsible for offering career services information to a large number of alumni members? Are you looking for ways to streamline that process?
Take a look to see if Project Me Pro will work for your organization and set up your site today. Be sure to take a close look at the Single Payer financing offer as well. It requires no upfront investment of any kind by your institution.
And, feel free to download our presentation to the ACSN (Alumni Career Services Network) from December 2017 here.