The Student Career Development Study

Millennial Branding and Release New Study on Student Career Development 

Few have internships, are marketing themselves on LinkedIn and are engaging in professional development activities.

Boston, MA  –  November 12, 2012 – Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm and, a Washington Post Company and the leading free learning resource for students, today announced a new report on how students are developing their careers while in college. The report, The Student Career Development Study, shows that students are not aggressively preparing for their post-college careers, one of several reasons that many struggle to find jobs upon graduation.  In particular, although 85% of students surveyed consider internships important to their future career prospects, only a third have a presence on LinkedIn, a primary online mechanism for connecting to internship opportunities, and only 1 in 9 have a presence on WordPress, a major home for blogs.

In August of 2012, surveyed over 200 students from across America. Out of the respondents, 41 percent are interested in the employee career path, 34 percent are interested in going straight to graduate school, 15 percent want to be entrepreneurs, 8 percent want to be consultants and fewer than 2 percent want to remain dependent on their parents indefinitely.

Additional highlights from the report include:

1. College students value internship opportunities.  52 percent hope to have three or more internships before graduating, while only 40 percent have had at least one internship so far. For those students who have had at least two internships, 23 percent say that the internships lasted between 1 and 4 months on average. The majority of these students’ internships have been unpaid internships.  85 percent believe that having an internship is either important or very important for their future career

2. College students are not experts at branding themselves. Despite how savvy Millennials are with technology, most (93 percent) do not have an understanding of personal branding. Furthermore, many are not taking advantage of easy branding initiatives, such as LinkedIn profiles, business cards, personal domain names, or professional blogs.

3. College students are generally mentored by their parents and ignore online experts. 70 percent of students surveyed have at least one mentor. 37 percent say their parent is their mentor, 28 percent say their professor, 21 percent say their family or friend, 17 percent say their current or former employer and a mere 1 percent say someone they’ve found in an online networking group. Out of those mentored by their parents, 32 percent say that they provide good advice about job-seeking or career-advancement,  13 percent say that they know something about their field so they can give professional advice and 11 percent say that they went to college so that they can advise them on being a student. Only 10 percent have found a professional mentor through social networking.

4. College students are lacking in professional development. Only 29 percent have received career and job help from career services at their university.  Just 22 percent belong to professional development or industry-related groups, and only 20 percent have taken or would take courses that teach social media skills.

5. College students are active in social media, but not in a career-oriented way. Almost all (95%) have Facebook accounts, and nearly half have Twitter and/or Google+ accounts.  But only 34 percent have LinkedIn profiles. Other social media sites used include: Pinterest (30%), Instagram (28%), MySpace (26%)  Tumblr (17%), Foursquare (14%), and WordPress (11%). The low presence on WordPress indicates that few of these students have created their own blogs.


“Part of the reason why students are struggling to find jobs is because they fail to develop their careers while in college. Students should strive to market themselves online through social networks, and actively network offline, in order to secure internships and jobs.”

Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, Gen Y expert and bestselling author of Me 2.0

“College students are missing out on a very valuable resource by not leveraging LinkedIn.  Internship opportunities, and the ability to network alumni or gain incredible insight into a company, are all there, waiting for students to take advantage.”

– Dean Tsouvalas, Editor-in-Chief,


Millennial Branding (Spokesperson): Dan Schawbel
Student Advisor (Data): Dean Tsouvalas

About Millennial Branding:

Millennial Branding is a Gen Y research and management consulting firm based in Boston, Mass. Millennial Branding helps companies understand the emerging Gen Y employee by providing research, training, and advisory services. As representatives of Gen Y and advisers to management, our goal is to provide research and insights that will make you more profitable, grow your market share, help you understand your Gen Y employees, and turn you into an industry leader. As ambassadors to Gen Y, we want to give our generation a voice, support their careers, and connect them with brands that understand their needs.

About, a Washington Post Company, is the leading “all things college” resource for students of all ages to find the colleges that best fit their goals and needs. offers free access to trusted college conversations, college reviews, college comparison and match tools, planning guides, a social network of verified advisors and more. also publishes The Top 100 Social Media Colleges, a scientifically calculated list that highlights the colleges best using social media. is a proud member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling and is based in Woburn, Massachusetts.

Icon Color_2



Receive our exclusive insights every week to stay up-to-date on the latest workplace trends impacting your business and career.​

Sign up and receive your first premium workplace article PLUS a bonus white paper!​