The University of Tennessee held its inaugural Career Outcomes Summit on March 3 in the Student Union Pilot Flying J Ballroom with faculty and staff attending. The Summit was sponsored by the Division of Student Success and the Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration.
The Summit connects faculty and staff at UT with information on students’ post-graduation outcomes to evaluate their success while at college. The data collected from the career profile enables UT to improve academic and student success initiatives that support scholars as they set and achieve their post-graduation goals, securing employment or continuing education. This strategy aligns with UT’s Strategic Vision, particularly Goal One of cultivating the Volunteer Experience.
Vice Provost for Student Success Amber Williams welcomed attendees, emphasizing UT student scholars’ experience on campus and how they articulate their collegiate experience into career-ready dialogue.
“Our undergraduate scholars learn and hone their academic and leadership potential inside and outside of the classroom,” Vice Provost Williams said. “Our goal is to help scholars understand how to articulate those skills and other collegiate experiences so they’re competitive in the job market or continuing education.”
Suzie Allard, associate dean for research & director of the Center for Information & Communication Studies, attended in person and reflected on how faculty can help students highlight and develop what they are learning in the curriculum to match the “soft” skills and competencies employers are looking for. Allard said it would be like adding a superpower to the curriculum. “It is an essential part of our strategic plan to help our students find their path from our education to their careers,” Allard said. “This helps our state industries and government have the best people to fill their jobs.”
75% of the graduating class reported an outcome, and of those who completed the survey, 88% of our bachelor’s graduates had a positive outcome. 60% of our students are employed in-state, with a $51,365 mean salary, and 68% completed an internship or similar experience.
Post-graduation outcomes include obtaining employment, attending graduate or continuing education, performing military service, and other outcomes. The Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration utilizes multiple outlets for getting career outcomes and collects this data for up to six months after graduation. These include attending on-campus events to gather information, participating in calling campaigns, and researching online outlets such as LinkedIn for post-graduation outcomes. National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) provides career outcomes guidelines for higher education institutions on collecting and reporting post-graduation career outcomes.