There are two purposes to this round of blog posts. First, I have written about various perspectives on the value of a college education. The other purpose is to demonstrate deploying content and gaining engagement for my current group of students. This post will conclude the series on value.
Employers that recruit college graduates seem to fall into two categories. Both categories highly value the college education. As a result, each is willing to reward the investment in education by providing high starting salaries for college-educated employees. Unfortunately, these starting salary levels are not universal. I occasionally encounter companies offering starting salaries half of the typical starting salary. Perhaps they should reread some of the earlier posts about the cost of college and the need for sufficient return on that investment. Besides these outliers, the two categories that value college education varies in their perspective on the essence of what they want from the newly graduated student.
The first group of recruiting companies values the liberal arts education (see https://www.marketinginsanity.net/thoughts-on-the-value-of-college/a-brief-history-and-the-background-of-the-indispensable-liberal-arts-education). The transformation of an individual through critical thinking, learning judgment, honing communication skills, and enhancing problem-solving ability is valuable to the hiring organization. These organizations value the new thoughts and ideas brought to them by the recent college graduate. Occasionally managers may rue some youthful enthusiasm but typically realize they need the energy and work the recent graduate provides. These employers are likely to cast a wide net and look at all or many majors.
The second group has specific needs in addition to the characteristics mentioned above. These can be engineering, chemistry, business, musical theatre, and so on. Skills in these disciplines go beyond the general education learning outcomes. As an example, here is a recent set of requirements posted in a blog for one area of my department, digital marketing.
However, it is this second group that sometimes struggles in their recruiting efforts. They look for these particular skills and then say all majors may apply. Take, for instance, the quote that accompanied the skills listed above. "The major can play an influence in an employer's decision, but the fact that you spent the time and effort to get your degree along with the experience you have received outside of traditional schooling and your work ethic goes further (at least in my opinion) than the specific degree you received." It is easy to understand the slippage from the desire for the essential skills from the liberal arts education to the specific major skills. Despite that statement of empathy, I am not sure such a statement as in the quote would be made about an engineer or concert pianist. These types of statements can confuse the student. That all majors may apply also confounds the value proposition. Employers must become conscious of their own needs and convey them clearly.
It seems that clear hiring expectations are essential for achieving the appropriate return on investment in specific majors. Employers need to embrace in their recruiting that they are targeting the best overall generalists. This is the category one mentioned above. These organizations should accept all majors as applicants. On the other hand, organizations in category two with hiring needs that match specific skills need to embrace that distinction. They should narrow their search to the appropriate major. The advice and messaging to the student from the employers must be clear. It will take clarity from all the parties involved in the college education process to help ensure the students achieve the return sought in the educational investment.
As an ending note, some future posts will address specifics challenges and remedies to delivering the collegiate educational value. Other posts will address sectors and organizations with impacts on the delivery of the value. This post addresses one such group. The employer and their willingness to pay for a collegiate education are integral to the value proposition.
Many of you know that I am teaching B2B marketing #b2b #b2bmarketing using LinkedIn as the platform for the students to learn how to manage both a LeadGen and ABM campaign. Some may also know of my firm conviction that a university education is a transformative event. Combining these two important aspects of my life has led to this latest endeavor. I will be posting links to my blogs on the value ofHere are my essays.