Rising costs and competition for entry-level employment increasingly call into question the value of a university degree. Now more than ever, career counselors must identify key factors that enhance employability for graduating seniors. Existing research shows professional experience is vital to securing quality postgraduate employment but offers little insight into ways perceived value varies by experience characteristics. This study surveyed value perceptions of more than 600 U.S. hiring managers. Results revealed a significant preference for hiring undergraduates with off-campus professional experience relevant to their full-time position at graduation. An experience of 3 to 5 months duration was considered valuable.
Journal of Employment Counseling
Gault, J., Leach, E., Duey, M., & Benzing, T. (2018). Enhancing the value of professional experience in undergraduate education: implications for academic and career counseling. Journal of Employment Counseling, 55(4), 144-154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/joec.12094