Wall Street Journal

chan.andy

Colleges get Career-Minded: At Wake Forest University, students can hedge their bets, majoring in history and balancing out Napoleon or the Prussians with a minor in Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. The five-year-old program, the school’s most popular minor, requires students to learn the practical aspects of starting a business. It is a sign of change in liberal-arts colleges, which are grappling with the responsibility of preparing students for a tight and rapidly shifting job market while still providing the staples of academic inquiry.…

So administrators must convince professors. Andy Chan, who runs career services at Wake Forest, in Winston-Salem, N.C., and his team have met with more than 150 faculty members, and he has a staffer dedicated to initiatives such as encouraging history professors to bring students to the career-services office for webinars with successful alumni. Reception from faculty has been mixed.

Mr. Chan said calls he received from more than 30 schools asking about Wake Forest’s programs prompted him to organize a conference last month titled “Rethinking Success: From the Liberal Arts to Careers in the 21st Century.” It was attended by administrators from more than 70 schools, including Yale, Emory, Brigham Young and Stanford. “Many career directors at schools are feeling this pressure but are trying to figure out: How do we get our whole institution to get behind this?” Mr. Chan said.

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