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First-Generation College Students

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First-Generation College Students ("First-Gen") are those who are attending college and have parents that did not complete a four year degree, regardless of other education obtained within the family (i.e. brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles). Past the challenges of being among the courageous first in your family to take on obtaining a university degree, you are next tasked with finding a job utilizing the foundation you have built. When pursuing your first job out of college, you may be confronted with the following challenges:

  • How does my major match the job I want?
  • How do I use my applicable skills to job search?
  • What do I need to know about life after college?
  • How do I make sure that I obtain the right job?
  • What should I look for in a job?

The resources below have been identified to give you a head start on answering the above questions and more.


Purdue University Student Success Programs - Boilermaker F1RSTS at Purdue University are supported by Student Success Programs; a collection of First-Gen aimed resources within our own boilermaker community suited to promoting their success.

Purdue University Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) - Right here on campus, Purdue offers career services to all students focused on career opportunities and pre-professional development. Whether you're in need career guidance, a mock interview, or a resume review, the CCO is the place to go.

Are you doing your job search right? How to land your first job after graduation - Finding your first job out of college is a demanding task. Simple adjustments, such as networking or focusing your resume to reflect your desired roles, can help narrow your scope on what positions you're after. These tips from Brooke Bell at CNBC are a fantastic jump start to the career search and finding a fulfilling job.

Career Guidance for First-Generation Students - What challenges do First-Generation students face in career development? This article from MIT Career Advising and Professional Development serves as a primer to the ideas surrounding supporting First-Generation students and how to promote best outcomes in career development.

Career OneStop - Career OneStop is a partner of the United States Department of Labor, providing information on careers, training, and job search information. Making an informed decision on a first job, or planning a long term career goal, can be tough. Career OneStop is here to provide information on how to achieve your goals, and make a long term career plan.

Career Resources for First-Generation College Students - Identifying risks and providing solutions to potential disadvantages for career development of First-Generation students can help bring peace of mind. This resource from Willamette University identifies risks for First-Generation students, provides solutions, and further steps that can be taken with additional resources.

How to College: First Gen - Are podcasts your cup of tea? This podcast covers the topics of first generation college students and how to do every aspect of the way. Their later episodes of the series covered various career paths, professional school options, and things to consider from First-Generation students themselves. Upon conclusion of the podcast, there are a grand total 124 episodes of content that can be reviewed.

Posse Foundation - The Posse Foundation sees through the success of high-potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds, beginning from late high school. On campus and graduate support are integral to success, as Posse has established their Campus and Career Programs to establish this. Internships, career development workshops and coaching, plus the Posse network itself make for a support network to promote excellence.

Rise First - Rise First is dedicated to enabling low-income and/or first-generation students and professionals to achieve their goals. Through providing career advice, mentorship opportunities, and other forms of support, Rise First uses their platform for empowerment of the next generation.

The PhD Project - The PhD Project focuses on supporting underrepresented groups with doctoral degrees. While pursuing a doctoral degree may not be necessary or in the career path of every individual, the PhD project helps these individuals asses whether this degree choice is right for them or not and then take action. Role models, mentorship, and other career development opportunities are available through The PhD Project.


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