Students deserve a centralized Career Services system

Bella McWhorter

Less than a third of graduates enter careers related to their major, according to a 2017 New York Times article. With the majority of students entering jobs beyond their majors, it is imperative UT’s Career Services changes its system so that students don’t have to use multiple UT job search engines to access necessary opportunities. 

Currently, Career Services operates under a decentralized system, meaning each college has a career office tailored to serve students within that college. Most notably, every college provides its own job board, which lists available internships, jobs and events. These online portals are often only accessible to students in that college. For example, the College of Communication uses CareerSource and the Liberal Arts College uses BTT Gateway.

“Here at Moody, we have a large population of students, and our career services are tailored to those students and their specific majors,” said Megan Vallee, a Moody College career adviser. “We are able to aid them better and get them more information specific to Moody College.”

While specialized resources can be helpful, they can also prove a disservice for students who will likely look for internship and job opportunities unrelated to their majors and for students who are pursuing more than one degree. A centralized Career Services could go a long way in helping students navigate their future in an organized and unrestricted way. 

Paige Miller, a radio-television-film sophomore, recently experienced the downsides of the current system. According to Miller, her friend in the College of Fine Arts found a listing for a photography internship through her college’s job board. She recommended it to Miller because of her interest in a photography career. 

“Because I’m in Moody, not CoFA, I was unable to access the link or apply to the job through that listing, which was disappointing,” Miller said. “It’s frustrating to be restricted from the job boards of other colleges, especially since my and other students’ skill sets can be broad and transferable.” 

According to Vallee, there are job boards that are open to all students — Hire a Longhorn and HireUTexas — with the latter powered by Handshake. Handshake is a platform where students, university career centers and recruiters can collaborate and share career opportunities. While these are great options for students, there is still a level of confusion and disorganization in having to access multiple different platforms and job boards while searching for an internship or job. 

To eliminate the unnecessary stress of having to monitor multiple job boards, Career Services should centralize the University’s colleges under Handshake. The platform is easy to navigate and helpful — it notes UT events for all colleges, connects you with UT alumni and shares viable jobs and internships for various careers and locations across all majors. Even better, UT already uses it. 

In addition to HireUTexas, multiple colleges, including the College of Natural Sciences and LBJ School of Public Affairs, already use Handshake as their job board. 

Career Services does an amazing job providing students access to internships, jobs and other opportunities — but there is room for improvement. Establishing a centralized system and uniting all the colleges under a single and efficient job board will ensure that students exploring careers beyond their majors can still have organized and complete access to the necessary resources.

McWhorter is a journalism junior from San Francisco, California.