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PARENTS & FAMILIES

Parents and other family members play an important role in a student’s career development. Our partnership begins the moment your student steps onto the campus, and continues even after commencement.

Parent and student

 

Debunking Career Myths
MYTH: My student should pursue a career that pays well.
REALITY: Not necessarily! To be really successful and earn a top salary, one has to possess both an ability for and an interest in the work. Having a highly paid job may make life a little easier, but if your graduate dreads going to work every morning, what is that extra money truly worth? Often a true interest and skill for one’s work are what leads to promotions and success. 
MYTH: It is best for my student to pursue a traditional, secure career path.
REALITY: The notion of "security" doesn't exist as it did even 25 years ago. Today's job market is in a constant state of flux, and high turnover rates are common. Job seekers and even the currently employed need to keep up with rapid changes in technology and policy. Adaptability and lifelong learning are the keys to having steady work. 
MYTH: My student ought to major in something that can lead to a job.
REALITY: Choosing a major is NOT the same thing as choosing a career. Majoring in psychology does not mean that your student will step out of college with a job in psychology, and majoring in art history does not mean that your student is doomed to a low-paying job. A major is one channel by which a student develops knowledge and masters a broad skill set, which - along with the relevant extracurricular experience that hones it (e.g. internships, leadership activities) - is what matters most to employers in any field. 
MYTH: My student should make an effort to work during school.
REALITY: Yes and no. It is true that there are many benefits to having a job during college. Some employers offer scholarships; almost any job offers valuable experience. And few can deny that extra money is a good thing. However, research shows that the academic performance of students who work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session suffers in comparison to that of those working fewer than 20 hours per week. Students should devote time to experiences that are relevant to their career goals, and to developing leadership skills. This can be achieved through internships, holding offices in clubs and organizations, service-learning, co-ops, and part-time work, among other experiences. But regardless of the activities in which your student is involved, if their academic performance suffers, time spent on extracurricular activities should be curtailed. 
MYTH: The best time to go to graduate school is right after college. A graduate degree will lead to a better salary/job.
REALITY: Not necessarily. The value of a graduate degree varies greatly from field to field. In some fields, a graduate degree is highly desirable and even necessary for a professional position. However, in certain fields a graduate degree may actually have a negative impact on one’s job search. Some companies are willing to train employees and later subsidize their graduate education, rather than pay higher salaries to entry-level employees with advanced degrees. As higher education becomes more popular, hands-on experience has become more valuable. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Help Your Student Succeed
Advise your student to join one or more of our Career Communities.
By joining one of our eight Career Communities, students get connected to all the resources and opportunities the Career Center has to offer relevant to their interests. Community membership is useful and informative for students at all levels, whether they are graduating this semester or four years from now. Please encourage your student to sign up for one or more of our Communities using their Handshake account today!  
Encourage exploration.
Whether your student is unsure what to pursue or already has a career concept in mind, encourage them to learn more about their option(s). This can include taking classes of interest, conducting occupational research, talking to professionals about their career paths, job shadowing, gaining experience, and visiting the Career Center. It is important for students to develop awareness of their interests and abilities. Openness to different options can lead to excellent opportunities for your student, as long as they are actively engaged in their career development. 
 
Emphasize the importance of internships.
Internships are important to your student for two reasons. First, internships allow students to experience the world of work and explore an area of interest. Second, internships provide relevant experience that is critical in a competitive job market. Employers highly desire candidates who have developed their communication, problem solving, organizational, and technical skills through practical experience. 
Support involvement in clubs and organizations.
Although focusing on academics and earning quality grades are important, extracurricular involvement is a significant part of the college experience. In addition to helping your student integrate into the campus community, involvement in clubs and organizations can help students develop the leadership and teamwork skills that employers seek.
Advise your student to build a resume.
Writing a resume should not wait until graduation, or your student’s next job application. Building a resume and having it reviewed at the Career Center can help students identify where their qualifications are lacking, and what type of additional experience and skills they need to accrue before graduating.
Help the Career Center
 
Become a CAN Mentor.
A CAN Mentor is a professional who volunteers his or her time to network and provide advice and career insight to students and recent alumni. Click here for more information about the CAN program and how you can participate.
Hire a Stony Brook student.
Your organization can hire Stony Brook students and alumni for internships and full-time employment. Register on Handshake   to post positions and start recruiting now. Click here  for more information about recruiting opportunities.
Donate to our Student Professional Development Fund.

The  Career Center Student Professional Development Fund  was created to help undergraduate students take advantage of career-related professional development opportunities. The number and size of the awards depend upon the number of applications, the relevance of the proposed activity to the student's career goals, and the amount of funding available. Funding is made possible by the generous gifts of parents, students, alumni, employers/industry partners and friends of Stony Brook University. Click here to give!

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