Many young people go to college for a higher education in hopes it will ensure a job in an area they enjoy. For recent graduates, however, it is not easy and their futures are uncertain in this generation of joblessness.
According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, there are only six college majors with zero percent unemployment, but many students choose to go into other areas, some with high unemployment rates, making the reality of a poor economy all the more detrimental to their job search.
There are several factors that contribute to the success a college graduate may gain from their degree. These include the type of degree, the major, the number of people graduating from the same field and the school.
“Grad school is the only option for me,” sophomore Ashley Woodburn said. “Sure, it’ll cost a ton of money, but I can’t get into the medical field with just a Biology degree.”
Because Woodburn is pursuing a career as a Physician’s Assistant, the type of degree she has now affects the success of her finding a job in that area in the future.
Because today’s typical graduate with a bachelor’s degree incurs $25,000 of debt in student loans, it is vital they find a job that can help them pay it back. Patty Hladio, the director of financial aid at Slippery Rock University, thinks that students should learn financial literacy early on so that they can make better decisions. She also warns students about how they spend their money in relationships.
“Another financial trap that students get into has to do with their relationships,” Hladio said. “It could be your best friend who never has money in their pocket and you’re always fronting them for the coffee, and they never pay you back. And a young person doesn’t know how to deal with that, whether it’s a friend or a boyfriend or a family member.”
For other ways to manage student loan debt, go here.
On average, college students pay $60,000 for a four-year degree. That is why they must take out so much money in student loans. Because a 13-15 credit hour workload is now the normal pace for students, it may take more than four years to complete a bachelor’s degree, adding to the high costs. This makes the tuition fees around the world even more painful for American students to see.
“Even though there will be changes in the curriculum, the faculty is willing to work with students to keep them on track so that they can graduate in four years,” Dr. Shanadi a Communication professor at Mount Union said. “That is why we are cutting out or rearranging courses and working with students so they can get all of their requirements in to graduate on time.”
This could make entering into the Real World more difficult for college graduates today than it was in the past. With masses of debt and little income to hold their own, young people are making poor financial choices that cripple their later adult lives.
“Eighteen to 34-year-olds are getting strangled by their unrealistic expectations,” Kwantlen Polytechnic University professor Robert Ironside says. “This generation has grown up watching parents use credit extremely liberally. The result is a culture of debt which people feel entitled to spend.”
Due to such a financial predicament and few jobs to solve it, 85 percent of college seniors last year reported they planned to move back in with their parents, an increase from the 67 percent that went back home in 2006.
But this is not to say that the Boomerang Generation is lazy. They are either going to institutions close to home to earn their master’s degree or looking for work to start building their savings and a career.
“There’s almost an expectation that kids will move back home, there is no stigma attached,” managing director or founder of Twentysomething, David Morrison said. “The thought now is to move home for 6-12 months but in reality those young adults will be home for a year and a half or longer. Even if they have jobs, they are living at home.”
Jeff Looker, a sophomore Communication major, says his parents made a deal with him, allowing him to move back in with them for a year while he looks for a job in the radio industry.
“I won’t take advantage of this,” Looker says. “Because I want to be a DJ as soon as I possibly can and I want to get a place of my own before that year is up.”
The government is a major factor for most workers, but the effects of its decisions hit young people the hardest. With all of the budget cuts, tax increases and changes in fiscal policy and policy benefits, it is no wonder businesses feel such uncertainty about their financial futures. They do not want to hire- especially “young and inexperienced” people during this time of economic hardship.
That is why young graduates must distinguish themselves from the rest by using social media in their job search and strong portfolios to gain employer attention. Using social media to its limits can expand one’s professional network to help them get to the jobs and even positions they want. By creating a portfolio that shows great experience, versatility and willingness to work hard, young graduates can make a lasting impression on their potential employers and increase their chances of getting a job sooner.
If all else fails and there are truly no jobs available in the area that pertain to the training and years of education graduates undergo, settling for a job andmoving away or even going out of state are always options, though not the most desirable. In this economy, there is no room to be choosy.
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