Higher Education Expert
Professional commentator for discussions, interviews, presentations related to grad unemployment, online learning, student career strategies, college career centers, alumni and recruiting trends.
Don Philabaum is the President/CEO of TalentMarks a firm that provides private label career curriculum, courses and online tools to help colleges develop a culture around careers and increase the number of students who take ownership of their career the minute they get on campus. TalentMarks products are designed to increase retention, students graduating on time, as well as the number of grads with jobs.
Over 1,000 career centers and 200,000 students have participated in TalentMarks CareerWebinars for Students and their annual CareerWebinars for Grads 12 hour marathon featuring 24 of the nation's top career authors. The firm also provides private label career online communities to over 100 alumni associations.
Philabaum is the author of the book, The Unemployed Grad, And What Parents Can Do About It.
The book shares with parents why colleges are not focused on helping their son or daughter explore careers and develop career strategies, and it provides parents the information they need to get their son or daughter focused on building their online presence, networking with alumni, and learning the "soft skills" hiring managers say recent grads lack. Philabaum believes colleges are stuck in the "Leave it to Beaver" age - when one car was in the driveway, one phone hung on the wall, and one TV sat in the living room."
According to Philabaum,
"Colleges and universities are focused on developing "better citizens" and experts within niche academic majors, at a time when the business world is looking for new hires that have skills that align with their business needs and "soft skills" that will help them hit the ground running."
Additionally Philabaum believes colleges are putting the "cart before the horse when it comes to recruiting.
"The admission office's job is to reach their numbers, regardless of the needs of students. As a result, they are struggling to retain and graduate students. By aligning the curriculum with the skills, knowledge and passions of an incoming student, and matching them with the needs of hiring authorities colleges will find their retention and graduation rate skyrocket!"
Philabaum is a visionary on how to use technology to scale career services.
Additional quotes by Philabaum:
"Colleges and universities need to build a culture around careers, the changing behaviors of students and the needs of the companies that hire them."
"To better serve students, the career centers need to realize they are no longer a destination. Career services need to be "in the clouds" accessible 24/7/365 via any device"
"College career centers are no different than clubs. They have to market to get students involved and engaged in their careers, but marketing is not their expertise!"
"Many colleges require students to complete a minimum number of community service hours to graduate, but do not require students to invest any time in career management."
Books and Blog
He is a noted expert in the college career market and shares his views on his blog, Career Center Strategy.
His first book, Create a Net Centered College Campus, written in 1998 predicted many of the changes campuses are seeing today, including MOOC's. A pioneer in online communities, Philabaum founded a company in 1996 that built over 300 alumni online communities for organizations around the world including the London School of Economics, Columbia University and the Former FBI Alumni Association.
His 2006 book, Alumni Online Engagement provides alumni associations with 101 ways to engage alumni online. Additional books on Social Media include, Internet Dough, and Engage Customers Online.