Penn State World Campus now offers career services to online students

November 23, 2010

Penn State students who want career guidance can always find those resources at career services offices on campus. Now Penn State's online learners have access to many of these same career planning services, only virtually.

"Online learners have the same needs for career planning as students studying on campus," said Lynn Atanasoff, Penn State's first career counselor for online learners. "They are trying to figure out which major to pick and where they are headed. The career services we offer aren't available at most other online higher education institutions."

Whether the student is close to completing a degree or thinking about graduate school, "I walk them through the process," Atanasoff explained.

One tool Atanasoff uses is LinkedIn, a professional social media network with 85 million members in more than 200 countries. "Networking is a very powerful part of careers. Through LinkedIn, online learners can connect with professionals in their intended careers, network, learn about career paths taken by others, or search for employers," she said. Several hundred students have joined the World Campus LinkedIn group.

The career services available to online learners are nearly identical to those available for on-campus learners enrolled through Continuing Education University Park (CEUP) and include: one-on-one sessions with a career counselor in person or by phone; access to Penn State Career Services' Nittany Lion Career Network, with its online job posting database available to all students and its on-campus interviewing and career fair activities available to University Park campus students; networking opportunities through LinkedIn and with more than 513,000 Penn State alumni; other career information resources and more.

CEUP career counselor Elizabeth Lasher assists people thinking about returning to college and adult learners enrolled through Penn State Continuing Education at University Park, Lewistown and Williamsport. "The most important thing I do is help people figure out where they've been, where they are, and where they would like to be. The process includes assessing one's interests, strengths, needs and values," Lasher said. "I help people empower themselves to start working toward their goals and embark on a career."

And for those hoping to enter the workforce soon, there is an additional perk to attending Penn State, either online or in-person -- the University's national reputation among business recruiters. In September of this year, Penn State was ranked the No. 1 institution in the nation for producing the best prepared, most well-rounded graduates who are most able to succeed once hired, according to a Wall Street Journal survey.

For information about Penn State career services for online learners, visit; for information about career services for adult learners enrolled through Penn State Continuing Education University Park, visit online.


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Last Updated March 21, 2011