Welcome Parents. You are the most important influence on your Cougar’s career decision-making progress! You can play an integral role as your student progresses through their time at the University of Houston. Wondering how you can help? Encourage your student to take the necessary steps and stay on track by having them to visit University Career Services early and frequently.
How can UCS help my student?
University Career Services offers a wide-array of services for current students and alumni, including:
- Career Counseling
- Vocational Assessments
- Career Workshops
- Mock Interviews
- Cougar Pathway
- Focus 2 Career Exploration Tool
- Career Development & Employer Research Resources
- Internship Services
- Career Fairs
- University Career Advisory Services
- Alumni Services
- Distance Career Services
How can I help my student decide on a major or career?
Choosing a major and career can be a stressful and confusing experience for both students and parents. It is important that students explore their interests, personality preferences, ideal work environments, and values before arbitrarily deciding on a major or career. If your student is struggling with this major dilemma, encourage them to meet with a career counselor at UCS. Career counselors are trained to help students clarify goals using a variety of assessments and approaches.
Myths about Majors:
- Most students entering college have already chosen a college major by the time they start classes. Though statistics vary, most stated that around ½ of college students entering their first year of courses have not chosen majors.
- Once my son/daughter chooses a major, he/she will keep it for the rest of their time at UH. This is not very likely, as 50% – 70% of students change their majors at least once, and most will change their majors at least three times before they earn their Bachelor Degree.
- Students need to choose majors directly related to their future career to be successful. It is beneficial for some students to have a major related to the occupation they seek to pursue, the truth is more than 50% of college graduates pursue careers unrelated to their majors. Employers are looking for much more than just the student’s major when making hiring decisions.
- A career assessment or career counselor can tell my student what to major in or what career to choose. Our job as career counselors is to help guide students in their career exploration and decision making, not to make these decisions for you. The purpose of the assessments we utilize is to aid in the clarification of interests, strengths, and goals in order help students make enlightened decisions.
What is an internship?
University Career Services offers Internship Services geared toward assisting currently enrolled University of Houston students in all phases of the internship search.
An Internship is a supervised pre-professional LEARNING experience, where students apply their skills and knowledge in a professional setting. This experience is directly related to a student’s major or career interest and offers a preview of what work in their chosen profession will be like.
Internships vary, and can be held over the summer or during the academic semester. Some internships can be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid. Internships may also be eligible for academic credit when work content meets academic department requirements and eligibility.
Internships are very helpful in providing relevant, real-world experience in a work context that may be similar to what your student may purse after graduation. The 2014 NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Internship and Co-op survey shows that the conversion rate for interns rose this year to 51.2% from last year. Employers made full-time offers to 64.8% of their interns.
How can my student enhance his/her employability?
In order to be competitive in the job market after graduation, students need more than just a bachelor’s degree! Employers are looking for students who have previous work experience, even if unrelated, as well as effective communication skills, customer service skills, technical knowledge, demonstrated teamwork ability, and leadership ability. Globalization and diversification are the current trends in the world of work, so having a wide array of experience and knowledge is a necessity.
Students can enhance their employability by:
- Pursue a Learning Abroad to gain a more global perspective
- Participate in Tier One academic research with UH faculty
- Network and gain leadership skills by participating in campus activities
- Obtain an internship to provide relevant, real-world experience
- Meet with a career counselor to expand knowledge of career paths
- Consider adding a minor which will increase your marketability
At University Career Services, we hold the belief that teaching students the ins-and-outs of the job hunt is more beneficial than placing students in jobs. Long gone are the times when you would work in one position and one company for your career, so job search skills are increasingly important in this age of non-linear career paths. Encourage your son or daughter to meet with a career counselor early to help improve his/her employability. Have your student review The Successful Job Search Handout to help them navigate the job search process.