Do Online Colleges Have Career Counselors?

In recent years, the United States has experienced a skyrocketing increase in the number of students taking their college courses online. More than 6.7 million students across the nation are enrolled in at least one course in an online format annually. These tremendous boosts are mostly attributed to the high levels of flexibility and convenience offered from completing the courses from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. However, some students remain leery of enrolling in an online college because they are unsure of the quality of the education and support they will receive for their future careers. The following is an explanation of the various career services available from professional counselors at most online colleges.

Career Counseling Services at Online Colleges

Students who attend online colleges or enroll in online courses at a brick-and-mortar university are often unaware of all of the valuable career resources that are available to them. Just like the services provided to traditional students on a college campus, most online colleges offer students access to free career services with professional career counselors. Virtual career centers are geared towards helping students make the transition from the online classroom to the real-life workplace. Whether students are entering the workforce for the first time, seeking career advancement, or changing into an entirely new field through online education, career counselors serve as a guide to assist students in navigating the complex job hunting process.

In the 2012-2013 Benchmark Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), researchers discovered that nearly 90 percent of the responding traditional and online career centers offered counseling services vital to student success beyond academia. The majority of online colleges were found to provide access to assistance with developing a high-quality resume, job listings, guidance in job search techniques, virtual career fairs, career assessment tools, training webinars, and individual counseling appoints for advice over the phone. In fact, researchers suggested that the online delivery format for career counseling posed the advantage of a more personalized approach, faster update on Web-based career information, quick announcements on upcoming events, and increased online interaction with potential employers through social media.

Importance of Career Counseling Services

In the current unsettling economy and tight job market, utilizing the career counseling services offered by an online college can make the difference between landing a job and heading for the unemployment line. According to the U.S. News and World Report, a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) tracked more than 35,000 students from 840 various colleges and universities across the United States. Researchers found that 50 percent of students who utilized career services and enlisted the help of career counselors received at least one job offer. In comparison, only 42 percent of students who did not consult with a career counselor had received a job offer. Furthermore, 26 percent of the participants who conferred with career services landed a job before graduation, while 17 percent of students who only searched job listings secured employment before walking across the stage.

Overall, it is essential for students considering online colleges to check out the school’s career counseling services and virtual career centers before making the decision. With top-notch career services, students have the best chances of gaining the necessary support to explore various career paths and find employment opportunities in their desired field. Not only do online career counseling services help students find immediate internship or part-time work experiences, they extend it to alumni for career guidance for the rest of the students’ lives.