The purpose of this dissertation has been to address the need to practicalize higher education by expanding career coursework into an ongoing career curriculum, beginning in a student’s freshman year of college. Career development needs to serve as a finishing school for a college degree, the place where all a student has learned is combined into an awareness of the talents and skills they have developed, and can now be marketed to potential employers. The working world has become a volatile environment, and we do our students a disservice if we do not properly prepare them for the reality of the workplace of the 21st century by helping them monetize what they’ve learned.
Unlike previous generations in which people often worked for one company during their entire career, corporate loyalty and job security are now a thing of the past. “In the postmodern world, changes in the social context and global perspectives have changed the properties of career to one that is described as mobile, self-determined, employer independent, and free of hierarchy” (DeFillippi & Arthur, 1994, p. 309).
Unlike their parents, college students today will probably never work for just one employer and then retire. For them, work will mean freelancing. A freelancer is defined as “a person who sells services to employers without a long-term commitment to any of them” (Freelance, n.d.).
Chapter One of this paper sets forth a brief background on the issue, the problem and why it is important, and the purpose and significance of the study. Chapter Two is the literature review, and includes an historical overview of career development in the United States, best practice career development courses in higher education, and a discussion of the theoretical model. Chapter Three deals with the methodology, including the research questions, the subjects to be interviewed, and how the data will be collected. Chapter Four provides the results of the research survey. Chapter Five summarizes the findings, discusses their implications, and presents suggestions and a new model based on those findings.