From the Classroom to Career, SUU Delivers Prepared Students

Published: February 13, 2015 | Author: Bailey Bowthorpe | Read Time: 3 minutes

SUU prepares students for their careersAsk any college student why they are pursuing higher education and chances are you’ll hear a similar answer: “to get a job”. Of course, thousands of hours studying, hard work and dedication will precede the exciting moment of walking in to the office on the first day, and that’s where Southern Utah University can help.

A recent study released by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) entitled “Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success”, found that college students judge themselves as far better prepared for jobs outside of college than their employers do. 

Luckily, because of the excellent preparation gained inside and outside the classroom, SUU is bridging the gap between employer and student perceptions, ensuring students leave with the skills they truly need to succeed. 

“Our students will come out of college with more than just a degree, but with actual, concrete skills and experience that employers are looking for,” said Brandon Street, SUU director of career and professional development.

Street explained employers have expressed to him praise for the high-caliber of SUU alumni in their companies, something he considers to be a result of the personalized education and project-based learning initiatives fostered at SUU. 

President Scott Wyatt agrees. In a February 5 presentation delivered to Utah legislators, Wyatt highlighted SUU’s outstanding School of Business. He reported, “100 percent of SUU’s marketing, economics and accounting students have a job within six months of graduation. Our business students are doing phenomenally well and are considered in the top 16 percent of business students in the country.” 

Drew Van Orden, a senior accounting major, is one of these students. Van Orden will graduate in May and begin a job at Ernst and Young, one of the top international professional services firm, in San Diego, Calif. soon after.

Of the preparation he received within the School of Business, he said, “My professors helped me know what to expect when looking for a job and what exactly employers are looking for. They related everything in class to the job market because most of them worked in it before they began teaching.”

Van Orden’s talented professors are an example of how practical skills taught inside the classroom contribute to students’ career preparation. This idea is also highlighted by the AAC&U study, which identifies employer priorities for college students’ learning. Of 17 outcome areas tested, written and oral communication, teamwork skills, ethical decision-making, critical thinking, and the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings are the most highly valued by employers.

One such employer is Vince Rosdahl, an SUU alumnus and partner at Deloitte, one of the top professional services firms in the world. He recently commended SUU’s innovative approach to education, such as the EDGE program, to ensure students leave the University with professional skills and real-world experience that will benefit them in a future job.

“Employers expect the technical and intellectual preparation from their new hires,” he said. “The additional soft skills and ability to bring a broad life experience to these companies is what is needed to compete in our global marketplace.” 

From backpack to briefcase, SUU students can confidently step into their first job thanks to the preparation and skills they gain inside and outside of the classroom. 

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