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1 in 2 new graduates jobless or underemployed

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,332 Senior Member
edited June 2012 in Parents Forum
"The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge.

Young adults with bachelor's degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that's confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.

An analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press lays bare the highly uneven prospects for holders of bachelor's degrees.

Opportunities for college graduates vary widely.

While there's strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder. Median wages for those with bachelor's degrees are down from 2000, hit by technological changes that are eliminating midlevel jobs such as bank tellers. Most future job openings are projected to be in lower-skilled positions such as home health aides, who can provide personalized attention as the U.S. population ages." ...

News Headlines
Post edited by Dave_Berry on

Replies to: 1 in 2 new graduates jobless or underemployed

  • October47October47 Registered User Posts: 1,021 Senior Member
    I'm a college senior, and I can tell you that honestly some students just don't try hard enough. I go to school in a town that doesn't have much of a job market right now, yet too many people I know expect there to magically be jobs for them here after graduation. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes and usually people aren't. I know seniors who haven't done any internships, they don't know how to network- they don't even know how to look for jobs! Our professors have taught us these skills, but somehow a lot of people I know are still completely clueless.

    In my opinion having any kind of job is better than being unemployed. A lot of students are afraid to take entry-level jobs because they consider those jobs below them or the pay is too low. But that's why they're called entry-level jobs. You won't be stuck there forever.

    For some reason a lot of students seem to think that once they graduate everything they ever dreamed of happening will happen all at once. It takes time to find a job, and it takes time to get experience and build a career. A lot of students feel entitled to great jobs where they'll have their own office and a $50,000 income. They'll be living in the city of their dreams and all of their student debt will magically go away. They feel entitled to these jobs, but they aren't doing the work it takes to actually find these jobs.

    I'm not trying to blindly accuse an entire generation of this- this is just what I've observed while in school.
  • rodneyrodney Registered User Posts: 9,406 Senior Member
    Thanks Dave; made my day (says the parent of a 2012 grad)
  • rockvillemomrockvillemom Registered User Posts: 6,750 Senior Member
    Hmmm...I have seen a few articles this past week stating that the job market for this years grads is improving, such as this one:

    College grads' job outlook improving: Challenger - MarketWatch
    Prospects for entry-level job candidates are expected to improve along with the economy, as companies look to rebuild their "bench strength" after cutting millions of workers during the recession, employment and layoff consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said.

    As the unemployment rate dropped to 8.2% last month, its lowest level since 2009, this year's crop of 1.7 million college graduates should fare slightly better than last year, but competition should remain fierce, Challenger said.

    Flexibility - both on location and pay - seems to be the key.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    Talk to someone who has been in the workforce for 20 or 30 years about being" underemployed".
    I agree things are picking up, but fresh faced grads shouldnt expect a big corner office just because they have big loan debt.
  • GladGradDadGladGradDad Registered User Posts: 2,818 Senior Member
    Good post by October47.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,419 Senior Member
    So true Emerald. My son found a job after college graduation last May...he's probably unemployed for a college degree but these things come with time. He's working and making enough to support himself barely and that's all he needs (and he would concur it beats the heck out of "coming home" to mommy and daddy.)
  • 2bornot2bivy2bornot2bivy Registered User Posts: 398 Member
    how about employment prospects with a Masters or PhD?
  • WhatdidyouWhatdidyou Registered User Posts: 539 Member
    I like this article because it points out that students are accepting lower-level, lower paying positions that don't have great growth opportunities. Which I find to be true (for business majors at least).

    And that blows because it will likely effect them for the rest of their career.

    We're sort of at a wierd place now, where young professionals who are coming to campuses to recruit are rejecting students that have superior qualifications than they themselves had when they graduated.

    There is a definite shift that's happened that's really unfortunate for the past few graduating classes.
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 11,957 Senior Member
    more thoughts on the subject of whether college is a waste of time for many students

    "Why College Isn't for Everyone"

    Why College Isn't for Everyone - Businessweek

    from the arrticle:

    "............But for many, attending college is unequivocally not the right decision on purely economic grounds."
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    Unemployment is much higher for those without a degree than with.
    Even a little college makes you more desirable.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 32,796 Senior Member
    I'm a college senior, and I can tell you that honestly some students just don't try hard enough. I go to school in a town that doesn't have much of a job market right now, yet too many people I know expect there to magically be jobs for them here after graduation.


    Honestly, I don't know a single graduate who had decent work experience under their belt and started looking early for a job that didn't graduate with at least some offers. Too many students don't have experience. Too many students don't start looking until March, April, or even later!

    Yes, they market's tough. But, IMO, students make it a lot harder on themselves by not really being prepared.
  • HaystackHaystack Registered User Posts: 1,576 Senior Member
    Ocober47 is right on. I teach at a college of business. Our business students that...

    Have: had student org leadership positions, internships (or other good paid/volunteer positions as opposed to spending 3 years bar tending) started working with career services as a soph, kept their GPA above 3.2, studied abroad...are finding good jobs.

    I get very frustrated working with seniors that have absolutely no relevant work experience and then expect career services to find them a job.
  • WhatdidyouWhatdidyou Registered User Posts: 539 Member
    "We have, for example, more than 100,000 janitors with college degrees, and 16,000 degree-holding parking lot attendants."

    haha, that's really sad.


    It really depends on the field. In my un-expert opinion, PHD's are for people who want to be teachers.

    Master's degree employment is probably much higher BUT I'd imagine that is due to other factors and not necessarily because of their degree. In most cases, a masters degree right out of college is not worth it.

    "Unemployment is much higher for those without a degree than with.
    Even a little college makes you more desirable. "

    Or you can make the argument that ppl who go to college would have been, on avg, better off anyways even if they did not go to college at all (especially if it was just for "a little" bit).
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 12,548 Senior Member
    A high GPA. A relevant major. Internships or part-time or summer employment. Leadership experience. Geographic flexibility. Flexibility in terms of the type of job you're willing to take.

    You don't have all of these things. But it sure helps to have some of them.
  • stradmomstradmom Registered User Posts: 4,671 Senior Member
    Making opportunities for yourself is a big part of it. The film students I know who have gotten professional work after graduation are the ones who were willing to come in at 6AM on a Saturday morning to do scut work for a production filming locally, for example.

    And sometimes it's luck. One of our successful alumni - one of the ones who had been making opportunities for himself - told a story at a department event last year about the time he happened to be sharing an elevator with a high powered person in the field...and he made it a point to chat with the man, who became interested, invited the alum into his office etc etc. (Of course, he never would have been in that elevator had he not sought out the unpaid internship the summer after he graduated, which led to the job, which led to...)
This discussion has been closed.