College is expensive, and tuition keeps rising each year. In order to get the most for your money, you need to choose a college or graduate program that provides sufficient career preparation and support for students. When considering a college or graduate program, assess both the campus career center and the specific department or school of your intended major (if you have one). Some important questions to ask when visiting college campuses:
Questions to ask at the Career Center:
- How many licensed career counselors are on staff?
- Do you offer help with interviewing and resume preparation?
- What does the career center do to help students find a job after graduation?
- Do you keep track of job placement statistics? How many students have a job upon graduation?
- What other career planning and job placement services do you offer students?
Questions to ask Specific Schools or Departments:
- What do you do to prepare graduates for a career in (your chosen field)?
- What is the acceptance rate to professional/graduate school for graduates of this program?
- What is the pass rate on the (professional/licensing exam)?
- Do you help students find internships? At what companies do students intern?
- What research opportunities are available to students?
- How many graduate assistantship positions are available? How many students that want assistantships get them?
All of these questions may not apply to you, depending on your intended major and whether you’re a graduate student or undergraduate. College rankings can be very helpful but they might not tell the whole story. Representatives will say all good things because they want your tuition money, so you need to be prepared with specific questions.