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Credentials and expertise are essential in today’s job market due to the sheer amount of job-seekers that are present. Based on the work of Hughes, Gibbons, and Mynatt which explored the involvement of universities in the hiring process of new graduates, there is a lack of sufficient “outside-the-box” thinking when it comes to preparing students for their future careers. Yes, schools provide the necessary curriculum, and it is up to the students to apply themselves; however, universities also need to evaluate whether their curriculums are oriented towards making their students appealing to hiring managers (Hughes, Gibbons, and Mynatt 41).
This viewpoint is based on recent trends in operational practices within many major companies wherein employees are expected to take on multiple roles within the same job. These “hybrid” job roles gained considerable popularity in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis due to the massive layovers that multiple companies had to enact. Hybrid jobs have now become a more common aspect of operational procedures resulting in changes in the way hiring managers view the viability of potential new employees. HR departments now look for individuals that have multiple skill sets aside from the primary level of expertise that is required by the job. Educational institutions like Manhattan College need to consider these new hiring practices when it comes to designing their curriculums.
One potential approach that holds considerable promise is the use of a partnership program with a nearby college, such as the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Both universities can offer minor degree programs which complement the major program of the other resulting in graduates that have a broader skill set and credentials. Graduates of these programs would be better prepared and more appealing when compared to their counterparts from other colleges and universities that graduated under the same equivalent majors yet without the additional minor degree.
Discontinuity between Jobs and Degrees
Lau stated that while 62 percent of college graduates today are in jobs that require a degree, only 27 percent of them were in jobs that had any connection to what they took up in college. The problem stems from inadequate transferability as well as a lack of sufficient educational attainment in the type of job they applied for that was relevant to their degree (Lau 1). For example, many college students from business programs in New York apply to top companies in Manhatten and expect that their grades and degree would allow them to have a good chance of getting hired. Unfortunately, with the current popularity of hybrid job roles, many companies are not just looking for graduates of business programs but people who also have experience in finance. This results in them to hiring just one employee instead of having to get two.
When presented with one potential new hire who has a business degree while the other has a similar major while also having a minor in finance, the HR manager would choose the candidate that with the additional expertise that fits the required job. It is due to these trends that many college graduates of business programs in New York find themselves in jobs that have little connection to their degree programs.
Job roles for graduates from business programs have gotten increasingly sophisticated, and potential candidates need to become equally as competent to get them (Fuchs and Prouska 364). Unfortunately, this trend has not been sufficiently adapted by many colleges in the city resulting in graduates often regretting the degrees they took up. This particular trend is not limited to graduates of business programs; rather, it also extends to bachelor degree holders from many different fields. For Manhatten College, what is needed in this scenario is to develop a solution that addresses the need for students to be proficient in more than just their major without having to increase the amount of time they spend in college.
One way that Manhatten College can resolve this issue is to create a joint program with the College of Mount Saint Vincent whereby students from one college can take up a minor that synergizes with their major in the other college. For example, if a business major from Manhatten College wanted to expand their current skill set and make themselves more appealing to hiring managers, they could take up a minor in finance at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Since Manhatten College does not offer such a program, creating a joint partnership, where credits from one college can apply to another, would enable students from both colleges to take up minor degree programs that they would otherwise not have been able to get.
This program will not be limited merely to individuals from business degree programs; rather, it can be applied to a wide range of other degrees as well. A student from a nursing program from Mount Saint Vincent could take up a minor degree in sports fitness and education from Manhatten College thereby allowing them to apply for jobs in various local and regional sports teams.
What such a program does is give people opportunities that they otherwise would not have access to or would require them to apply for additional majors in other colleges just to get, resulting in considerably higher expenses and a lengthier time in college. It should also be noted that Mahatten College and the College of Mount Saint Vincent are located roughly 20 minutes from each other. If a joint program can be created between the two colleges, a shuttle service could be created that would help in limiting the commute from one college to another.
The cost of such a program, aside from the creation of a shuttle service, are quite small since both colleges have the necessary curriculums already. All that would be needed is to create a formal arrangement between the two when it comes to an exchange of credits for particular minors.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Based on the information that was provided regarding the change in present day hiring practices, the recommended joint program is one of the best ways that Manhattan College and the College of Mount Saint Vincent can make their students more appealing to hiring managers. Colleges need to consider changes to their curriculums to match new trends in the job market. Universities and colleges are not just places of learning; they are institutions that prepare students for the rigors of having a job and establishing their livelihoods. It is due to this that they need to exercise proper due diligence when it comes to developing their curriculums to match what the job market demands resulting in a higher likelihood of their students getting jobs that match their degrees.
Fuchs, Sebastian, and Rea Prouska. “Creating Positive Employee Change Evaluation: The Role Of Different Levels Of Organizational Support And Change Participation.” Journal Of Change Management 14.3 (2014): 361-383. Print
Hughes, Amber N., Melinda M. Gibbons, and Blair Mynatt. “Using Narrative Career Counseling With The Underprepared College Student.” Career Development Quarterly 61.1 (2013): 40-49. Print
Lau, Joyce. “Report Addresses Mismatch Between Jobs and Graduates.” New York Times. 2012: 1. Print