I am always amazed that recent graduates don’t know how to look for a job! (I still receive emails from graduates asking for a job!)

This article of Chris Russell made me think of the lack of job search courses at universities and business schools.

Imagine that universities spend 90% of their time (and money) to teach their students technical skills and technical courses but when these same students go out to look for a job, they don’t know some basic rules. They are unprepared and struggle to find a job…

Basically students would need to understand how to look for a job in an increasingly complex world and know how to evolve in a corporate world where networking is key and soft skills lay at the center of any successful career!

Most  universities teach how to write a CV and a cover letter at the end of the student cycle which is ridiculously not enough!!!

So my thinking is that at least 25% of all courses should be dedicated to job search and career management and the courses would be:

1) Networking: Why and how to network?

2) Using social networks to leverage a career: main sites, how to use them

3) Personal branding: Why and how?

4) Your marketing tools: CV, biography, social networks profiles, business cards, cover letters

5) Learn how to run an on line community and create content

6) Writing, speaking and sharing: new rules for career management

7) Oral communications

So what universities/business schools are waiting for?

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7 comments untill now

  1. I think this applies especially to MBAs which are heavily marketed but often fail to deliver on career expectations. Having worked with clients in this area, there is a sense that the MBA is going to deliver for them (“Look at me, I have an MBA” syndrome) rather than as you point out that they need to proactively land the job they want. The skills and attitude you point out are essentials in this process but also taking time in the course to reflect on where it might bring you.

  2. Thanks John for this insightful comment…even today holding a MBA is not enough and may scare recruiters sometimes…job search and career management must lay at the center of any successful Business school program.

  3. I would like to add that brilliant comment from DAVID BIGGS, Programme Director of the university of Gloucestershire:

    “I think that if universities are going to survive in 2010 and beyond that employability needs to be at the forefront of teaching. Basic principles can usually be touched upon in taught sessions and at least students are then aware that they have development needs in key areas such as consultancy, client relationship management, etc. This then stops the over-confident know-it-all student and that humbleness tends to then get them a job as we have found time and time again at Gloucestershire.”

  4. I fully agree with John Deely : Problem is mainly on the MBA and Specialized Masters (at least in France)where expectation in term of prfessional changes exceed by far the ability of those strudents due to the lack of information about the Sector and Professions they would like to do a move after this type of Training.

    I do not agree on the article for the Bachelor and first Masters where the 25% of the time spent to do networking seems too high to me.
    It could be 25% if you are including in this figure teaching on different sectors and knowledge of Business Issues and professional trends.

  5. [...] Brouat in his post  “The failure of  business schools and universities ”  makes a case for including job search techniques into  university curricula.  Like me he finds [...]

  6. Vincent Duboc @ 2010-04-01 12:34

    I agree with you on the need to teach more in the field of job search and career management, although 25% seems exaggerated (maybe intentionally to trigger some reactions? Or viewed as a whole “soft skills” teaching).
    As you say, one should think about networking, personal branding or reputation in a long-term view. Beyond classes, it would be interesting to facilitate and start the process, help making it an unconscious and permanent state of mind through the years of education, thanks to example and experimentation, with the alumni for instance.
    I guess you have met people working in career centers and probably some decision takers in business schools/universities. Did you have the opportunity to talk about it with them?

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