Volunteer Experience Valued in Calgary Labour Market

Survey finds that grads with volunteer experience - whether career-related
or not - are more attractive to potential employers

CALGARY, Nov. 29, 2011 /CNW/ - A recent survey commissioned by DeVry Institute of Technology in Calgary found that nine in 10 Calgarians believe volunteer experience on a resume makes a post-secondary graduate a more attractive candidate to potential employers. The survey also found that eight in 10 Calgarians believe pursuing volunteer work prior to graduation is important for post-secondary students.

"The survey findings validate the feedback we frequently hear from employers: They value the time and effort that potential employees put into volunteer activities," said Karen Franco, communications director for Volunteer Calgary. "Employers believe volunteering is an excellent way to build skills that are beneficial in the workplace."

In their survey responses, Calgarians indicated that they believe the skills and values which graduates acquire through volunteer experiences make them more attractive to employers.

"Volunteering develops an understanding of how to function in a workplace and how to work as part of a team," explains Franco. "Volunteer experience of any kind is seen as an asset in today's job market, and graduates are not limited in the volunteer activities they wish to pursue."

According to the survey, three quarters of Calgarians believe that both career and non-career related volunteer experience make post-secondary graduates more attractive to employers.

Anila Umar, director of career services for DeVry Institute of Technology in Calgary, says students need to be aware of the many volunteer opportunities that exist and how they can improve the chances for success when entering the job market.

"When students pursue volunteer opportunities, they need to decide what it is that they would like to get out of their experience" she explained. "We recommend that students volunteer for an organization whose work they are passionate about or is of interest to them."

The survey's findings also show that Calgarians believe volunteer experience benefits recent graduates in the workplace. Eighty-seven per cent of people surveyed agreed that volunteer work provides graduates with the skills needed to excel in their new position, with 65 per cent agreeing somewhat and 22 per cent agreeing strongly.

Leger Marketing conducted the online survey of 500 Calgarians aged 18 years and older in November 2011. DeVry Institute of Technology commissions quarterly career and higher education-related surveys to provide the Calgary community with insight into trends that impact local and provincial economies.

About DeVry Institute of Technology
DeVry Institute of Technology in Alberta is part of the DeVry University system, one of the largest degree-granting higher education systems in North America, with more than 90,000 students enrolled in the United States and Canada.   At more than 95 locations, DeVry University delivers practitioner-oriented undergraduate and graduate degree programs, onsite and online, that meet the needs of a diverse and geographically dispersed student population. DeVry Institute of Technology offers degree programs in Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Electronics Engineering Technology and Network Communications Management. In Canada, the government of Alberta grants approval for baccalaureate degrees awarded by DeVry Institute of Technology. In the United States, DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, www.ncahlc.org. DeVry University, a part of DeVry Inc. (NYSE: DV), is based in Downers Grove, Ill.  For more information about DeVry Institute of Technology, find us on Twitter @DeVryUniv or visit www.devry.ca.


SOURCE DeVry Calgary

For further information:

Neil Babaluk
NATIONAL Public Relations
nbabaluk@national.ca
403-531-0331

Dan Dement
DeVry University
ddement@devry.edu
619-618-9785

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