In a word: Everything.

In this economic climate, saying that it can be a challenge to find a job post-graduation is, unfortunately, an understatement. Consider these disheartening facts:

This bleak reality begs the question: what more can we do to help improve the prospects for our students?

It’s no secret that internships are the best way for students to gain the work experience necessary to find a job after graduation. In fact, nearly 7 out of 10 internships end with a full-time job offer after successful completion of the program. So what can you do to help your students separate themselves from the pack and land the coveted employment offer?

Encourage your students to start their internship search today– even freshmen!

The more internships–and experience– students have under their belt, the more prepared they’ll be for job interviews and the more weight their resume will carry, so encourage them to begin their search as soon as possible. A great starting point in the internship hunt is Blackboard Learn, where students can search and apply for internships in the same system they use for their classes. Blackboard offers a partner solution, the Internships.com Building Block, that puts the search right in front of them with access to over 76,000 vetted internship positions from 41,754 companies located in 6,343 cities across all 50 states.

What does this mean for you?

Helping students find internships doesn’t have to be an entirely altruistic effort. Students who complete internships are more likely to find full-time employment after graduation. Employed students post-graduation help your institution compete with competitors in rankings and alumni giving statistics. Higher rankings lead to increased number of applications and students interested in your institution.

So explain to students about the importance of internships and how they can significantly increase job prospects post-college. It’s a no brainer, and they’ll thank you later.

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