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Employment after College

The saving begins before the child is in pre-school. Parents, alarmed by the ever rising cost of college, do everything they can to insure their child gets a higher education when he finishes high school. The child, growing up with a constant reminder that college is the goal, will load his high school years with extra-curricular activities, sweat over every grade, and pray for a scholarship. A college degree is often seen as the golden ticket to premium employment, and many students expect to graduate and walk into a career of their choosing, at a salary that will make the thousands of dollars owed in student loans seem trivial.

Unfortunately, many of them end up working for minimum wage at a job outside their major, wondering if college was, indeed, worth it. College applicants can easily be divided into two groups: those that are continuing their education as a chance to increase their chances in the job market, and those who continue their education as a way to avoid entering the work force. For whatever the reason, applications are on the rise. As students graduate, they flood the job market, increasing the competition for the limited number of available jobs.

Brian Kim makes the bold statement that “The ‘prestige’ that comes with having a degree has now become diluted with the rampant number of students graduating. You now need something more than just a degree to get you that first job out of college. ” (1). Many employers list a bachelor’s degree as a “minimum” requirement. And unless you are applying for a job in an “in-demand” industry such as technology, your GPA won’t really matter much, either. Consider these responses from recent college grads to Kim’s statement: “I had well over a GPA of 3. 0, but so did 1500 students in my school of study who graduated with me.

” “Unless you have a ‘daddy’ with connections on the inside, you are going to be in line with everyone else…working at the 7-11 to get by. ” And, “I’m looking forward to working at Starbucks. At least I’ll get free coffee! ” (qtd. in Kim, 7-9. ). With over a quarter of the population holding bachelor’s degrees, the gap between available labor and available jobs has widened greatly. There is still a large percentage of graduates who subscribe to the belief that a degree will afford them the luxury of demanding a higher salary, and entrance into the field of their choice.

Because of these expectations, many refuse to take jobs that may be “beneath” them. As a result, Allan B. Krueger reports that “Since March 2008, college-educated workers have been abandoning the labor force while high school dropouts have been joining it…with jobs shrinking more, employment has declined for the college graduate. ”(2-3). For those who need to work for “survival” reasons, many do, in fact, accept menial jobs, working alongside those that are lesser-educated. In response to Krueger’s statements, one college grad replied:

“Yup, I love having a degree and doing data entry for $10. 00 an hour, sitting next to people who never even finished high school, especially having a small house payment of student loans. My advice to new high school-grads-if you want to go deep into debt, just buy a house. At least then you will have an asset to show for it…”(qtd. in Krueger, pg. 5. ). The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that between March 2008-November 2008, the labor force percentage rate was 1. 3 for those with less than a high school diploma, as compared to 1.

0 for those with a college education. (Krueger. ). In 2002, The National Center for Education Statistics determined that the most popular areas of study were business management, education and social sciences. Compared to that determination, the BLS concluded that only 3. 5 percent of those graduates found jobs in their field of study. 1. 8 million graduates worked as laborers or blue-collar supervisors; 1. 3 million were employed in the service sector; 5. 9 million—17 percent—worked in the food industry, either as low-level cooks or as servers, or in the retail sector.

(Fleetwood and Shelley, 5. ). In today’s economic climate, many graduates are being prepared for a sector that is laying current employees off in record numbers. When they do finally graduate, they will be applying for jobs that simply don’t exist. The outlook is not all gloom and doom, however. When the economy recovers and hiring resumes, those with college degrees can expect to earn 62% more than those without. Despite the ever-growing competition, unemployment rates of graduates are expected to drop significantly.

Experts predict that between now and 2012, there will be an estimated 6. 8 million new jobs available that require college degrees. Many will be in the fields of technology, education, public relations or management analysis. More than half, however, will require advanced degrees, such as physicians or lawyers. (Lacey and Crosby. ). So, will the benefits of a bachelor’s degree ever pay off? With patience and perseverance, yes. The best scenario would be to take advantage of the current economic slump and continue on to a master’s degree.

The other, less appealing option is to take whatever job is available, build your resume, and continue to search for the job of your dreams. Hey—at least working at Starbucks is a testament to your ability to compromise. And who wouldn’t like free coffee? Works Cited Fleetwood, Chad and Kristina Shelley. “The Outlook for College Graduates, 1998- 2008: A Balancing Act. ” Occupational Outlook Quarterly Fall 2000. 23 April 2009 http://www. bls. gov/opub/ooq/2000/fall/art01. pdf Kim, Brian. “Top 10 Reasons Why College Graduates Can’t Get a Job.

” MyFindaJob. com. 8 August, 2006. 23 April 2009 http://www. briankim. net/blog/08/top-10-reasons-why-college-graduates-cant-get-a-job/ Lacey, Jill and Olivia Crosby, “Job Outlook for College Graduates” Occupational Outlook Quarterly Winter 2004-2005. 23 April 2009 http://www. bls. gov/opub/ooq/2004/winter/art02. pdf Krueger, Alan B. “The Job Market for College Graduates. ” Economix. 8 December 2008. 23 April 2009 http://www. economix. blogs. nytimes. com/2008/12/08/the-job-market- for-college-graduates/

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