Be warned! I am writing to sound the alarm that your career services job may be in jeopardy of being lost to a more efficient and effective solution.
First, I think career development should be taught and therefore it should and most probably will be moved to the educational model within many organizations. If you think you are going to be that faculty member teaching students career development you’ll be in great shape the longest, probably for the rest of your career. However, there won’t be enough faculty positions for everyone in today’s career services department and support staff will be provided by those already embedded on the educational side of the balance sheet.
But here’s the real kick in the proverbial ass! The solution provider market, most likely an entrepreneur, is going to design an elegant solution that will improve the best-fit placement of ability. When that solution finally meets the market the funding decisions to support career services “education” is going to be valued less by business managers. This will be the direct result of the market’s (i.e. the end user’s) behavior. It will not matter how much you lobby or hope for career services development to become a mandatory curriculum course. The market is most interested in placement execution, not career development education. Career development education is merely the means to an end — placement. Much like teaching math was merely a means to an end technology has devalued a math education. More accurately, the market has devalued math education and technology was/is the grease that moves the market “vote” very quickly on what it will pays for. We all know math degrees are way down as are the math department budgets.
Independent career services practitioners may be yawning as they read this post because they need not worry. In fact, they probably should be jumping for joy as their true value as caring professionals and their advice delivery skill sets are going to be increased as solutions focus on placement execution. And there’s probably some captive career services professionals who are entrepreneurial and are not afraid of being judged against placement execution. For you folks, the future looks bright. Actually, I believe that entrepreneurial career services professionals who focus on placement execution are going to be in the driver’s seat for monetizing their social capital in the future. Think about it. What industry is better suited to monetize social capital influence other than the career services practitioner? You will be on the leading edge of being a network entrepreneur.
So, in review, in order of value from lowest to highest, as decided upon by the market — education, advice, and then execution — assuming an elegant solution is designed that eliminates the market’s greatest pain point, placement at best-fit.
Look, I’m just one person sounding this alarm as far as I can tell (and please don’t kill the messenger) but if I’m right you should use your education material and advice you provide others to complete an assessment where you will fit in the career services industry of the future if my prediction comes true.
Guest Post from Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carroll is the founder of Placementloop.com