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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Editorial: How recognizable is Carleton in the job market?

<al weeks ago, Carleton’s Career Center created “Engagement Wanted,” a program designed to connect job-searching seniors and alums of similar job interests. While the program has just begun, and its success at helping seniors find jobs probably can not be judged for some time, the program does raise some important questions as to the name recognition that an education at Carleton affords graduates. In today’s economy, this question is especially relevant.
Indeed, it is most likely the state of the economy that prompted the Career Center in the first place to begin a program such as “Engagement Wanted,” and Carleton seniors should be thankful for the opportunity. Because of the recession, the job market that graduating students are facing is one of the worst that we have seen for years. Every week, statistics are released that are more and more disheartening. More and more, students look to stay in school rather than try to navigate the market and find a suitable job.

If the “Engagement Wanted” program works as the Career Center envisions it will, Carleton alums will provide connections, tips, and advice to seniors. This is undoubtedly a great resource.

What, though, does the need for this program say about the name-recognition of a Carleton degree for job-seekers? Even in a difficult economy, what should a Carleton degree represent to potential employers? Due to the $48,000 cost of tuition, it is not outrageous to argue that a Carleton degree represents an education and a training similar to what one might receive at East Coast schools such as Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore, or even Ivy League schools such as Yale or Harvard.But this is not the case.

Carleton has been recognized time and time again in Newsweek rankings (even though President Oden chooses to not put much merit towards the rankings), but Carleton alums often speak of the difficulty they have in procuring a job in markets better than the one Carleton students are facing.

What, if anything, can be done to increase Carleton’s name-recognition? Our students win awards, grants, fellowships, and even make it on to reality TV shows, and our Professors publish materials and are quoted in newspaper, radio and television, but still the awareness of Carleton throughout the country is lacking.

Whatever the case, it is arguable that Carleton’s lack of reputation does more to harm job-seekers than it does to enhance it, and until that changes, the Career Center will continue to need to help with programs such as “Engagement Wanted.”

-The editorial represents the views of The Carletonian Editor

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