Career Center Should Cater More to Liberal Arts Majors


In expanding the McGinley Student Center into the McShane Campus Center, one of the departments that received a boost in infrastructure and amenities was Fordham’s career services department, which was transformed into the brand-new Career Center, located on McShane’s second story. 


With the expansion, the Career Center bolstered its resources, allowing for better experiences when students reach out for assistance in their post-Fordham career. That being said, for the most part, there is a noticeable lack of career assistance available for students who are not focused on finance or technology-based industries.


Yes, baseline career assistance is available and helpful for students just entering the job field. Resumé-building, advising and reviews provide crucial information for students who are just beginning to delve into the world of job applications and networking. Seminars on how to apply for internships, writing cover letters and learning interview skills are important and well-covered by the Career Center for all students of any career focus. However, many Fordham College Rose Hill students, including members of the Ram staff, seeking advice from the Career Center found that, while they could provide beneficial information about resumés and cover letters, they lacked specialized industry knowledge.


When examining the opportunities, workshops and general services for specialized careers, the services show a strong lean away from arts and humanities students and a tendency toward finance and tech industries. 


During the first two months of this semester, the Career Center hosted four career fairs. The  first fair was the Accounting and Finance Career Fair, followed by the Tech, Cybersecurity and Data Science Micro-Fair. These two fairs were followed by the Government, Law and Public Service Micro-Fair and the Arts, Media and Fashion Micro-Fairs. 


What is most important to note about these fairs is the distinction between a standard “Fair” and a “Micro-Fair.” Of the four, the only one that is not advertised as a “Micro-Fair” is the Accounting and Finance Career Fair, suggesting it to be the most robust and expansive of the four events.


After a brief investigation, this turns out to be true. Comparing the Accounting and Finance Career Fair with the Arts, Media and Fashion Micro-Fair makes this distinction apparent. 


In the Accounting and Finance Fair, over 40 employers attended to seek prospective employees out of Fordham students. S&P Global, Wealth Advisory Group LLC, GP Bullhound Investment Banking and HSBC Bank USA Commercial Banking were all among the dozens of companies in attendance. 


Compare that to the Arts, Media and Fashion Micro-Fair held in October. As opposed to the 40 or so employers at the previously discussed fair, less than half were in attendance. With only nineteen employers seeking prospective employees, the size of the Micro-Fair for arts and media is significantly smaller than the size of the regular fair for accounting and finance. 


Plus, the industries represented at the Micro-Fair disproportionately favored “Advertising, PR and Marketing,” again focusing on more finance-focused careers in arts and media industries.  


Even the labels of “Fair” and “Micro-Fair” show how one should expect the latter to be smaller, the fact that there is no regular “Fair” for arts and media shows that career opportunities for students are mostly geared towards those looking for a career in economics and industry.


This preference goes beyond just career fairs. One of the most recent major events promoted by the Career Center was the KPMG Ideation Challenge, a national challenge that invited Fordham University students to “create a team, develop creative solutions to real-world problems and challenge other students from around the world.” KPMG, the organization that was in charge of the event (and an employer featured in the “Accounting and Finance Career Fair”), is a professional firm that focuses on business solutions and “audit, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s largest and most prestigious organizations,” according to the employer description on the KPMG Ideation Handshake page. While the event was not hosted or organized by Fordham University, the Career Center promoted the event and is one of the few employment opportunity events promoted but not organized by the university. 

The Fordham Ram believes that, if the university wants to assist students in finding a career after they’ve graduated, its career services should be expanded. 


It isn’t enough to provide ample sources for students seeking careers in finance and economic-focused industries when there are thousands of liberal arts students on Fordham’s campuses that are in need of similar career assistance, and who are underrepresented by the offerings of Fordham’s Career Center.