Students Still Love You!
It is often assumed that today’s students do everything online, including their prolific use of social media. Facebook alone claim around 750 million users worldwide. Many UK and international universities have very detailed social media advertising and recruitment campaigns, with conferences on a monthly basis telling them that this is where they should spend their money.
It often seems in this brave new world that careers teachers and counselors will become less and less important to student advice and choices, and soon websites and social media will replace us all. Imagine the surprise when we saw the results of two recent studies. The first more notable being the finding of research conducted by i-Graduate with a poll of some 150,000 international students.
Social Media or face to face?
It seems that only 4% of international students use social media to select a foreign university. If it’s as low as this when choosing a foreign uni, how high or low is it when a student wants to check out an institution in the West Midlands? Conversely, a further survey of over 1,200 universities around the world, found that some 6% of applicants chose their university after meeting an institution representative or adviser face-to-face at a university fair or event. Perhaps universities should be cautious about reducing fairs and schools liaison and living completely in cyber space.
They need someone on their side
Add to these findings almost continuous results over the last 20 years, that have UK students listing their careers teachers and advisers as in the top two most important influences on course and career choice, and it would seem you are still in demand. In effect the amount of change and choice available means careers teachers are likely to be more and more in demand; if not for detailed knowledge, then as pathfinders and sounding boards.
Perhaps the real finding in what some us old and crustier types presume is a more digital and virtual (un)reality, is that today’s students value human contact and interest as much as their parents ever did. In what can appear a challenging if not hostile world with almost a million of the unemployed being under 25, students see their careers teachers and advisers as being a real asset. They just might be telling you to your face!