The Center for Career Education (CCE) partners with students throughout their time at Columbia to provide skills, information, and networks to empower them to make informed career choices while at Columbia and as alumni. We encourage students to engage with CCE as soon as they arrive on campus to learn about our services and programs and to work with us to develop personalized career plans. Your support and encouragement will enhance your student's commitment to career exploration and engagement with us.
Students use CCE for a variety of purposes, including:
- Working with a Career Counselor to explore career interests and develop self-awareness in relation to career choice
- Getting a part-time job, internship or full-time job,
- Learning how to make the most of the winter and summer breaks,
- Obtaining more information about a particular industry of interest,
- Writing and/or perfecting a resume or cover letter,
- Reflecting upon how the Columbia experience connects with the professional world
- Finding out more about Columbia's internship programs.
For a sample of how your student may interact with CCE in each academic year, review our undergraduate timeline.
Graduating Student Surveys
Each year CCE surveys Columbia's graduating class of undergraduate students to determine where students are heading after graduation. Data is HERE. You'll see that most students either seek full-time employment or graduate school opportunities after graduation, and the majority of surveyed students who had accepted full-time positions found their positions in New York City. It is important to note that the average undergraduate will have a variety of different "careers" in a lifetime, so the decision made with regards to a career after graduation does not necessarily mean that this will be your student's career for the rest of his or her life.
Internships, part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, research, and community service activities provide students with opportunities to learn more about potential careers and develop the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to be successful in their careers. CCE is committed to developing opportunities that allow students to explore career fields and develop their transferable skills and experience working in professional settings. CCE resources include:
- LionSHARE- the job search database of all part-time, full-time, work study, and internship positions
- CCE-run international internship programs in seven locations around the globe
- CCE-run Arts internship programs in NYC
- CCE support for internship funding, including the Columbia College Alumni and Parent Internship Fund, the Columbia Engineering Internship Fund, and the Work Exemption Program.
- Career skill building and practice interviewing opportunities both in a one-on-one settings with Career Counselors, and in workshops
- Online Career Resources
CCE offers a vast array of full-time job search support and connection to employers through:
- Full-time job search strategic planning support from our team of Career Counselors.
- LionSHARE - CCE's Campus Recruiting Programs which connect students with employers who have full-time job opportunities
- Career Fairs - hundreds of employers come to recruit Columbia students from the private, nonprofit and public sectors through three major annual fairs
- Career Skill building workshops and practice interviewing opportunities
Gaining Industry Knowledge and Building Networks
CCE encourages students to explore a number of fields while at Columbia. To facilitate this exploration, CCE provides opportunities for students to gain knowledge about a broad variety of fields and industries and to build networks in industries that they would like to pursue. Resources include:
- Employer Information sessions - opportunities to hear employers speak about their organizations and to connect directly with employers
- Site visits - opportunities to see what goes on "behind the scenes" at a variety of industries. Visits have included the NBA, Parsons Brinckerhoff engineering, Simon and Schuster, NBC, Bloomberg, the American Museum of Natural History, MTV, and Pepsi Co.
- Alumni and Professional in Residence events - alumni and other professionals speak about their day-to-day experiences, career paths, recruitment tips, and industry trends. Topics have included education, government, research and writing, engineering, museum, advertising, marketing, biotechnology, science beyond the bench, and publishing.
- Columbia Career Connections - an online network of alumni who have volunteered their time to network with undergraduate students
- Online Career Resources
Students and parents often are concerned with how a choice of major may impact the career opportunities available upon graduation. Some fields of study connect directly to specific career fields, e.g., electrical engineering to an electrical engineering job. However, a history of art major can complete pre-medical requirements and successfully apply to medical school or secure a position in advertising. From our experience, the majority of employers today seek a wide variety of majors, and there is much more flexibility with employers about the majors they desire in their candidates. Employers often are more interested in the transferable skills a student has obtained at Columbia, and how such skills can be an asset to the employer. CCE, with consistent feedback from employers and the Center for Student Advising, encourages a student to choose a major of interest that uses his or her best skills and talents, as it usually results in the most academic success for that student. At the same time we encourage the student to explore careers and skills required for fields of interest to best prepare for a job search and complement his or her major. For international students interested in working in the US, a major must be related to the job to secure sponsorship. We encourage international students to engage with the International Students and Scholars Office and CCE early to learn about visa requirements, employers that typically sponsor, and how international students have successfully navigated internship and job searches.
CCE often works with students interested in a broad range of graduate programs in developing their application essays and practicing their admissions interview skills. In addition, Columbia's Office of Preprofessional Advising provides students with direct guidance on graduate schools in law, medicine, dentistry and other health related professions. Students are encouraged to visit the Office of Preprofessional Advising as early as possible in their Columbia careers to ensure that they are aware of all graduate school requirements and processes.
Employing Columbia Students
If you are seeking interns or full-time employees for your organization, CCE encourages you to consider hiring Columbia students and alumni. The Employer and Alumni Relations team can help you advertise your opportunities and recruit the best candidates for your positions.
Parents Services at Columbia University
Columbia's relationship with parents starts early, beginning the summer prior to your student's first year with Summer Advising, and continues through graduation. For more information about programming for parents at Columbia see The Office of Parents/Family Programs site.
Connecting with Columbia and CCE as Alumni
We are pleased to offer Columbia alumni lifetime access to CCE's services. The Alumni Career Development team works with alumni to find employment, develop career plans, and manage career transitions and hosts many career-related events throughout the year for alumni.