UW–Madison’s Hora speaks with Inside Higher Ed about college students’ career prep

Inside Higher Ed asked UW–Madison’s Matthew Hora to weigh in on the results of their “Student Voices” survey, which provides insights on college students’ career plans, who is influencing them, and how well colleges are preparing them to achieve their goals.

Matthew Hora

Hora is an associate professor of adult and higher education with the Division of Continuing Studies and with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies. He is also co-director of UW–Madison’s Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT).

According to the survey results, “most students say college should be preparing them for a job or career they love, even above having a job or career that pays well or finding a job quickly after graduation.” However, “far fewer say their college is effectively preparing them for that.”

Hora shares his thoughts on why students feel they are lacking career support. Campus career service resources are often under-used, he remarks. He adds that “work-integrated learning remains relatively rare in the U.S. compared to peer nations such as Canada and Australia.”

Hora also cites his own research when discussing the influence of parents on their children’s college experience and career goals. First-generation parents influence their students’ career paths by infusing “a strong work ethic and so-called soft skills” in their children, Hora says, though in the survey continuing-generation students were more likely to say their parents strongly influenced their career choices.

As for solutions, Hora recommends the creation of mandatory, one-credit career courses that would “provide relevant information and resources” for students preparing to enter the workforce.

To learn more and see the survey results, check out the full article at insidehighered.com.

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