Use Confidence to Land Your First Jobs - Student Research Foundation

Is Confidence the Secret Students Need to Land their First Jobs?

Major Study Finds College Students Lack Confidence about their Future Success

The 2017 Gallup & Strada College Student Survey has found that college students are experiencing a “crisis of confidence” about their future careers. Here are some key findings from the study, which surveyed more than 32,000 college students at 43 four-year colleges. . .

  • Only 34% of students said they believed that they would graduate with the skills they need to find jobs and succeed in the job market.
  • Only 36% said they had would graduate with the skills to be successful after they took jobs.
  • And only 53% believed that their majors would lead to a “good job.”

Levels of Confidence by Major Field of Study

Which college majors are the most and least confident?

  • Liberal arts majors are the least confident. Only 28% of them believe they will be successful in the job market.
  • Business majors are more confident than liberal arts majors. The study found that 37% of them are confident of finding success in the job market.
  • STEM majors are the most confident of all. The study found that 44% of them believe they will succeed in the job market. But bear in mind, that is still less than half of all STEM majors.

And Older Students Have More Confidence

The study also found that 41% of students older than age 24 feel confident that they will be successful in the job market, while only 32% of students younger than age 24 feel that same level of assurance.

What Can Colleges Do to Build Confidence?

The study also found that students who have had the following experiences in college are “significantly more confident” about their future success:

  • They have spoken often with members of their colleges’ faculty or staff about career options and plans.
  • At least one university or college official has initiated a conversation with them about their career options.
  • They believe that their colleges and universities are committed to helping them find rewarding careers.

Take Action

Ready to explore college majors and associated career pathways? Participate in the National Career Pathway Study and you will be empowered with new information to make career and educational decisions that ultimately align with your interests, passions, and aptitudes.

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