JMU News

JMU rolls out new approach to matching students with jobs


by Hannah Lynn Robinson

 
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RICHMOND – James Madison University, with support from Growth4VA, announced its new approach to matching students with job and internship opportunities through a unique partnership with Handshake, the largest career community for students and recent college graduates. JMU will put critical career services in the hands of every JMU student – even before they step foot on campus. JMU, according to Handshake, is the first school in the country to take such a comprehensive approach.

“Our recent ranking as the best college in Virginia for getting a job says a lot about how we do career services at JMU,” said JMU President Jonathan Alger. “We owe it to our students to continue to increase their career prospects. We believe in the education that our students are receiving at JMU and know that they are prepared to be successful in any setting they choose. This partnership with Handshake merely serves to match that preparation with opportunity in a new and innovative way.”

JMU cut the virtual ribbon on their revamped undergraduate major webpages which include a live Handshake feed of internship and job opportunities relevant to each major. Surveys suggest that nearly 80% of college students report that increasing their prospects for employment after graduation is their number one reason for enrolling in higher education. Handshake’s feed provides those opportunities to students and prospective students without having to log in to see such opportunities. Additionally, employers who post opportunities to Handshake are able to choose the schools where they want their postings to appear.

“Access is the most direct path to opportunity, and we're excited to partner with JMU to help students launch and build successful careers,” said Christine Cruzvergara, Vice President of Higher Education and Student Success at Handshake. “JMU is on the leading edge of enabling more students to easily discover opportunities in every industry and help employers expand and diversify their early talent recruiting.”

The Virginia business community continues to tout the correlation between a well-educated workforce and economic prosperity. Critical workforce shortages in high demand areas will inhibit small business growth and discourage businesses from relocating, expanding or investing in Virginia. Growth4VA, a bipartisan coalition of business, education and political leaders, suggest that initiatives like the one launched by JMU and Handshake will help increase the talent available to Virginia businesses.

“JMU’s announcement is a perfect example of higher education coming together with the business community to address our talent needs,” said Don Finley on behalf of Growth4VA and the Virginia Business Higher Education Council. “JMU’s innovative approach with Handshake will help Virginia college students fill the Commonwealth’s talent needs and will help keep Virginia on top as the number one state for business.“

U.S. Department of Education data was recently used to ranked JMU as the best college in Virginia for getting a job while U.S. News and World Report ranked JMU as the most innovative school in the South. JMU is committed to producing students who are successful through equal parts intellect and action.

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Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 17, 2020

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