How Handshake Benefits Community College Students


Navigating the college to career pathway continues to be a fragmented and, unfortunately, unequal process for students across community colleges in the U.S. Whether students have near- or long-term career development goals, higher education institutions are turning to Handshake—which offers the largest and most robust early career talent network for students, employers, and career services departments—for new and creative ways to increase student engagement and access to opportunities.

Engaging students in career exploration is an endeavor best led by each institution’s unique career services team. Career educators are one of students’ most valuable resources in any stage of their job search, even post-graduation, and Handshake is a place where they can easily access that support. With over 280 community colleges in its network, Handshake works collaboratively and responsively with our career services partners to help bolster student outcomes.

Embedding career services’ expertise into the student experience is core to Handshake’s product vision. One example is our ability to highlight employer collections—groups of employers who have specific value to the student population—created by career services. We give career center teams the ability to create lists of lesser-known employers to students for different reasons that resonate with them, like proximity to campus, popularity with alumni, or investment in diversity. This unique and personalized resource, combined with features that assist faculty with including career development in their coursework, creates a holistic approach to job-seeking that aligns with community college students’ values and interests.

Although Handshake is ubiquitous among college students in the U.S., our impact can’t be felt unless we’re meeting students where they are—on their phones. Handshake’s investments in mobile-first experiences efficiently connect students to career paths through peer-to-peer and employer messaging, virtual coffee chats, career fairs, and, most recently, a new social component that makes compelling career content actionable. Our new student-facing content feed provides students with career topics through curated job matches, video content, social features, career services resources, jobs, events, and more. The upcoming product development is highly interactive and will guide students toward their next conversation with one or many of the 750k+ employers in our network.

Democratizing access to opportunity for students is our mission. We’re committed to leveling the playing field for community college students who are too often left out of recruiting conversations based on proximity and resources. Click here to learn more about bringing Handshake to your campus.

Handshake was an Innovations 2023 Advocate Sponsor.

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