June 7-11, 2021
Topic: Reimagining Career Services in Light of Career Disruption and Post-Pandemic
There is a strong case for a reinvention of career services. Many career centers aim to ensure that they are meeting the needs of all student s. Yet, so many students are missed and remain on the periphery of career services. Institutions have seen a steady increase of underrepresented students enrolling over the past 40 years (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). The focus (and success) of Career Services in the future will depend on its equitable access to connections and experiences for all students regardless of background or social capital. The true return on investment from reimagination efforts is equity. However, this requires a complete overhaul of infrastructure and strategy to support this mission in a new—daunting digital world. What seemed virtually impossible in the past to accomplish quickly is now close—in arm’s reach. This includes building a career ecosystem and virtual “hub” for integrative learning. Career Services Directors seek to reinvent their units to create a 24/7 career center and 21st-century model with a student-focused and responsive career culture in even the most difficult times. This includes scalable structures and measuring impact over input. The consensus is that to meet students where they are, career centers must be creative, expand services to diverse and underrepresented communities, and re-think their overall approach.