Most students hope to find a good job after college graduation. However, they may be disappointed if their job search begins only when they graduate. Career planning and preparation should occur throughout their college studies. They do not need to settle on one area to pursue right away, and they can change directions. However, it is important that they begin to prepare early for their lifelong career or careers.
There is a myth that if a person has a college degree, he/she will automatically get a job. The fact is approximately twenty percent of college graduates are unemployed and the percentage of unemployed college graduates with disabilities is even higher. All students need career seeking strategies and work experiences. If an individual is inadequately prepared, his résumé is likely to be unimpressive in a stack of hundreds.
As future employees, college students with disabilities face a variety of challenges. Like other students, they need to find ways to meet the specific requirements of their desired jobs. They also need to demonstrate they have transferable job skills acquired through education and previous work experiences that can be applied to new employment situations. Students with disabilities have unique challenges imposed by their disabilities. They must also be aware of what worksite accommodations will be necessary as well as how to appropriately disclose and discuss their disabilities with potential employers. Work-based learning opportunities, such as internships and cooperative education, allow students to gain experience, apply classroom theories, and practice requesting accommodations and disclosing their disabilities to potential employers.