Economy, employment gives college appeal to freshmen

A record number of college freshmen think attending a university will help them get a better career, a recent survey shows.

The results of the 2012 Freshman Survey were released Thursday by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, part of the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.

The 2012 survey, which nearly 200,000 freshman across the country participated in, found 88 percent of those surveyed said the ability to get a better job was a very important reason to go to college.

Numbers have grown for more than 30 years. In 1976, about two-thirds of freshmen responded in the same way.

The survey also found students are concerned with being economically comfortable. About three in four — the highest on record — freshmen said the ability to make more money was a very important reason to go to college.

Jaclyn Hadler is one of these freshmen. The prenursing student said she decided to attend college because of the economic and career opportunities the degree might provide her.

“I wanted to have options and be able to make enough money to live the way I want to,” Hadler said.

Bill Morgan, experiential learning and on-campus internship coordinator for MSU Career Services, said it is important for students to build a strong résumé to show employers before graduating.

“When a student lands on campus, or hopefully even in high school, really the question always is, ‘What do you want to do when you’re done with college?’” Morgan said. “It’s important you take the steps to make sure you are preparing yourself for when you’re done with school.”

Morgan said he calls these skills “building blocks” that a student needs as a foundation before they enter the job market. Helpful tools include a well-written résumé, getting a part-time job or internship and seeing one of MSU’s career advisers to help assist in finding a career.

“Those building blocks help students get off to a good start and have a better grasp of what’s going to happen when they enter the job market,” he said.

Morgan said MSU’s Career Services Network provides students with multiple options to search for internships and gain advising to help find a job. Recent graduates also can take advantage of some of these services, such as using the career search engine MySpartanCareer, for up to two years after graduation.

Jack Ottenwess, a political science and pre-law freshman, said he is not wasting any time finding job opportunities he thinks will be beneficial in helping him get into law school. He spent his summer working at a law firm in downtown Detroit.

“It gives me great experience that I am 100 percent sure will be relevant,” Ottenwess said.

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