25 Ways to Make College Pay Off

What motivated you to write this book ?

I wrote a book for students in 2003 and found that the parents bought and read the book, but the students were too busy and unfocused to do so. I decided to write directly to parents.

Who is this book addressed to parents or students ?

The book is directed to parents but sections of it speak directly to students by telling them what to do to make sure their college education prepares them to follow a viable career path after college.

How can people make best use of your book ?

The book has 25 specific tips that will lead to career success. The tips come from my experience with my students who have followed these tips and are doing very well. Parents need to understand where they want their students to go and then encourage them without trying to control them.

Are you planning to write other books ?

Not at the present time.

Employers are looking for more than a college degree nowadays, how can one promote this side of him/herself in his job search ?

Employers don't want to be told in a resume or an interview by job candidates that they have skills and character; they want to see evidence that they do. The evidence cannot come primarily from academic coursework. It must come from experiences in jobs, activities, internships and project experiences. So to demonstrate that you are a good writer, it is more effective to say 'wrote over 10 articles for the school newspaper' than 'had a 4.0 in English courses.'

When should one decide on his career path before or after deciding for college

Since people have several careers after college, any decision must be up for revision at all times. However, it is important to decide on a path as a result of the college experience. You can't tell if you are on the right career path by speculating on whether or not you might be if you choose it. Instead, take the first step. It's just like learning how to swim. You can't circle the swimming pool, you have to jump in.

Can students enjoy their college years fully as well as implement a good career plan ?

Yes. Developing skills and character and exploring careers required to be on the right career path only need take a third of your time in college so you have time to have fun, get reasonably good grades and earn money. Plus having fun develops skills.

What are the most important things to keep in mind on your first job ?

Your first job requires excellence and requires you to further develop your skills and character. It also allows for career exploration. Keep these three goals in mind just as you should do in college.

What is the most common job search mistake students do in your opinion ?

Not wanting to start at the bottom. A good cold call sales effort, leads to raises and eventually sales manager which leads to VP for marketing which leads to CEO, if that is what you want.

What is the greatest advantage of a student over someone with experience in the field?

A student is cheaper and may not have bad habits, but in general students are at a disadvantage unless they follow my advice and get a lot of real world experience in college.

Is this book only for parents/students who are planning to go to college ?

The book will help those who go in the workforce directly in two ways. First, the same skills listed in the book are needed to succeed at any job. Second, the book strongly advises to look at post-secondary experiences other than traditional four year colleges. Getting a four year degree may be too costly and too general for students who have drive, talent and focus to succeed at a career that requires only a certificate or a two year degree. Remember only about 50% of students graduate four year college programs.

Professor Bill Coplin, Ph.D. has been the Director and Professor of Public Affairs at Syracuse University for more than 30 years and is the author of 25 Ways to Make College Pay Off, How You Can Help and 10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College. He has also published numerous articles in the fields of international relations, public policy, political risk analysis, social science education, and citizenship and is a frequent contributor to USA Today on the subject of high school and college education.

By the book NOW and help your kids plan their future.