Many recent college graduates are currently unemployed. They contend that there are very few jobs comparable to their education. There are some recent college graduates who remain unemployed 4 years after their graduation, They maintain that they rather be unemployed than to take a job which is educationally beneath them which they contend would seriously derail their career plans.
Many college graduates frown on so-called Mcjobs because they are minimal wage. They want jobs which would guarantee some semblance of a middle income lifestyle. However, these jobs are becoming few and far between. While there are some recent college graduates who take these Mcjobs and work on them until they could do better, many more prefer to rely upon parental support until their desired job arrives. What is your opinion of this?
Recession is the reason for lesser jobs all around the globe...
Meh. A single person can work for a telephone-support company like Convergys making $9-$10/hr, and put themselves through college part-time. At that rate, you could graduate with a bachelor's after 6 years, along with 6 years of stable job history, which is better, in my opinion, both for the student's character(having worked his way through college) and for the resume.
People used to be willing to start low on the ladder and work their way up over the course of 40 years. Now college students expect too much. If everyone started in the middle class, it wouldn't be the middle class.
gmwilliams, I would like to see the sources for your information. I know plenty of graduates who were without 'suitable jobs' for more than a year. Each one of them took jobs that paid $8 or $9 per hour when they were offered them.
I do not for a moment believe that these people are refusing jobs. I, therefore, want to see your source for this information with exact statistics.
To my mind, this is Republican propaganda.
The truth is, if there is a 8% unemployment rate (and in real terms, it's closer to 25%), there is no way these people can find jobs.
The other aspect is this: Do you know how many employers out there are asking people to work without pay on the off chance that they will be offered a job afterwards?
After taking up this offer more than a few times, I realized that it was just a ploy to get free labor.
Well, this is a complex issue and does not have a single answer. In general, unemployment after college is not unusual, especially in a system that emphasizes academia and not hands-on experience. When my friends graduated college back in the 80s, some took a year or longer to find a job. Why? Experience rules. Even back then. Nothing new here. But today, it's probably even more important to get experience.
I always counsel my students and clients to get a foot in the door way before graduating college. Hell, if you want to be a lawyer, get into a law firm however you can: file, sweep floors, answer phones. Your job is to get in there and make contacts. Also, consider that networking is the key to getting hired. Most college students have no clue about this and assume they'll just graduate, send out resumes and get a job. Less than 20% of all jobs are filled via the cold call resume. Not a good idea.
And all this talk about unemployment, no jobs. Hog wash. I'm on the job feeds all the time. To see how the job market REALLY is, not just scare tactics media hogwash, I put out job searches using several key words and get a constant stream of jobs coming into my inbox. Since July 11 unemployment has dropped way down from 10% to around 8%. Someone said 25%. YOUCH! That's depression time unemployment, and I don't see 1/3 of Americans walking on the streets and living in boxes. And it's not that bad anyway, for there's always going to be unemployment, roughly 6% because of career change, layoffs, recent graduates, retirement, etc.
Per usual, it's not as bad as it seems. But there are some things college students can do to avoid long term unemployment. Get a job in your field before you graduate, then do such a good job that when you graduate, the company will move you up on the spot. Also, learn to network. Get the feelers out there WAY before you graduate.
The current generation is part of what Jean Twenge -- a psychology professor who wrote "Generation Me" -- calls the entitlement generation.
These young folks, according to Twenge, were raised by their parents and teachers on flattery and praise, which boosted the kids' self-esteem to narcissistic levels.
Now these narcissistic young folks are recent graduates, who have been conditioned to think they are "God's gift", and are, as you mentioned, unwilling to take a job that's "beneath" them because they have a college degree.
They are the by-product of the Baby Boomer generation, who grew up fairly privileged -- well-educated and affluent -- and wanted to see their kids better off then they were, which is why, I suspect, so many in the entitlement generation are college graduates.
Despite having a college degree, a recent grad will have limited work experience, which is a big problem.
Sure, they have transferable skills, but they can't hit the ground running, per say, like someone who has experience. Training takes time; time cost money.
Those Mcjobs provide work experience and the possibility to train into a leadership role, which is a transferable skill that many employers look for in a candidate.
As someone who's part of this generation, I can say that I would exhaust all possible ways to make revenue before even considering moving back home.
To timmathisen: You are so correct in your premise. To reiterate, I knew many college graduates who were UNEMPLOYED for YEARS waiting for the "right" job. When they obtained those jobs, they were fishes out of water. They frankly do not know how to adjust to the work world.
I remember one of the supervisors having to repeatedly instruct one of the abovementioned college graduates on calculating a tax form, a task which he repeatedly failed. Please note that the newly hired employee had several Ph.Ds under his belt. This employee was an abysmal worker to say the least and he was eventually terminated. Yes, he was still living at home even though he was near 40 years of age.
This supervisor had another employee, a college graduate who took a Mcjob after his graduation. Yes, he worked as a clerk until he could do better. Well, this employee showed initiative in the tax collection job and exhibited leadership ability. Before long, he was promoted to a tax collection supervisor and then to a tax manager, answering only to a high placed tax director. Currently, he is self-employed and doing quite well. Yes, if a person is smart, he/she can use the Mcjob as a stepping stone to a desirable career!
As a member of this generation, I can tell you that Twenge's research sounds more like confirmation bias than anything substantial. Sure there are members of my generation this describes, but they are the minority. A Pew Research study found that 21% most value helping others, compared to 15% that value having a high-paying job, 9% that value having lots of free time and 1% that value becoming famous the most. Personally, I fall in the 21% group. Unfortunately, many of us cannot even be hired into the Mcjobs because employers assume we will leave at the first opportunity, the perception of my generation likely playing a role in this. It does not help that "experience" is the new it factor in employment at a time when many of our parents' generation that lost their jobs during the Great Recession find their unemployment benefits running out. This creates vicious competition for the few jobs available with my generation unable to compete simply because of our age. As far as transferable skills go, employers do not really care about them and look down on people with Mcjob experience and I'm quoting an employment recruiter on that. Basically, the employer class has exactly what they want, a job market in which people fiercely compete with one another and bid one another down on wages and benefits.
Maybe a lot of work overseas like China where all the jobs have gone.
Perhaps they're afraid of what a low-level, low-paying job will look like on their resume. If they learn how to to discuss it during an interview (transferable skills as you mentioned) for a job they really want later, the low-level job would still help. Of course, the money will help but if they're expecting any minute to get 'a real job', it may seem counterproductive.
I know from experience that those recent college graduates who take the Mcjobs or in my day, jobs which were educationally beneath them, were usually derided by people and other recent college graduates as being substandard. They wonder if this college graduate was somewhat substantial, he/she would NEVER take a job which is beneath them.
In other words, these recent college graduates with the Mcjobs are considered to be regressive and that they will NOT advance as quickly as a recent college graduates who elect to wait until the "right" job or a job commensurate with his/her education arrives. These college graduates with the Mcjobs are told that they are stupid to take those jobs. Many of these graduates are told that if they start at the extreme bottom, they will find it difficult to advance into a better job.
During my years of employ, there was one employee who did not work until he was 30 years of age. He continuously attended college and graduate school. He obtained a Masters of Science degree in either biology or chemistry-I cannot recall now. However, it was 5 years after he obtained his graduate degree that he obtained his first job. He indicated that he would wait until a suitable job arrives and he was not going to take just any job. There was another guy who at 39 had his VERY FIRST job. He continuously attended college and graduate school until he acquired several Ph.Ds. He never worked at all during his sojourn in those institutions of higher learning.
Wow and I thought I was bad. I got my first job at 21. There's certainly a problem of people thinking they are too good for jobs out there. All one's life one has been told by teachers that they are special and smarter than everyone else, so its a huge shift going to a job and working alongside an average Joe.
The lead into a good job is a whole lot longer these days.Since most employers are unwilling to undergo the expense of training novices, to get real experience nowadays, students need to do unpaid placements, volunteer work, or work overseas.
This is true. Work experience is the most valuable thing nowadays it seems. And like you say, unpaid volunteer work, internships, apprenticeships etc. seems to be the only way to go if you want a regular job. And you'll work for peanuts; probably nothing at all.
And many others must bear the burden of those idiots. Others find themselves stuck unemployed because there is now no such thing as an entry-level position. Everything now requires years of experience. I saw a job as a social media organizer for a union that required five years experience in using social media in such a way, even though such a use is only about three years old. Some will not hire college graduates for McJobs because they assume they will quit as soon as something better comes along. The pay is also a much more serious and immediate concern, considering that the average student loan debt for someone from my college is $27,500. That's just the principle. Add other living expenses to that and in most places, a person needs approximately $30,000 before taxes just to keep their head above water. We also cannot ignore the general trend in the economy over the last forty years of jobs leaving the country and going to sweatshops. Going with a McJob does keep you further from a job your education qualifies you for, and I am quoting a job recruiter on that. Basically, we are watching The Shock Doctrine come to the United States.
I'm just going to marry rich straight out of college... that sounds good.
In all honesty though, I'm diversifying my skills as much as possible so that I have a wider range of jobs to choose from. I write, I'm learning a second language, and I'm double majoring. I have no problem taking a job that's 'beneath' me-- hence the reason I work as a dishwasher right now-- I need savings, and it was a very convenient job. I also plan on doing internships so that I have some sort of work experience that looks good.
I think most college students forget to look up the ideal company they want to work in when they get out of college. They forget, either because of tragedy or too much fun, to try to get an internship or coop to give them some training and experience under their field.
Experience is king out here now, not the degree. I have two. Sometimes you are required to get a specialist certificate or license for what you decide to do. Thing is, you have to DECIDE what you want to do, and be certain about that.
It's all about the research you do about the job under your degree you decide to work under BEFORE you graduate.
This is a good point. The big problem is that most college students don't know what they want to do when they graduate.
Even for the ones who have an idea, it's like pulling teeth to get them to do an internship or volunteer work.
Because many grads are just looking for a place to apply their transferable skills when they get out of school, I've always thought the "McJob does keep you further from a job your education qualifies you for" argument is a wash, especially in today's economy.
An well-educated grad will illustrate his/her value in most jobs, which will provide training, growth, and the ability to move into something different.
Whether the Mcjob hires he/she, especially with a holier-than-thou attitude, that's another story ...
I remember when I graduated from college decades ago. I looked high and low for jobs; however, the only jobs available at the time were clerk typing jobs. Yes, I worked as a clerk for a while. I totally detested the job and every day I wanted to quit. My parents informed me that I was NOT going to quit until a better job comes along.
Well, I had a bad attitude i.e. holier than thou attitude towards the job. I believe that the job was totally moronic and was not going to benefit me in the long run. Okay, I decided to perform the job as mediocre as possible. I figured in my naivete that no one was going to notice a clerk no matter how good his/her work performance was. Well, to say the least, my immediate supervisor found me to be quite a trial.
As I progressed and changed my attitude towards my work, I started to get promotions to a supervisory position and then eventually to a position which was commensurate to my college education. My advice is even if a college graduate obtains a Mcjob, do the job as efficiency as possible, obtain as many skills as possible, have a pleasant and professional attitude, and always be looking for better jobs- eventually you will get one!
Because they are not job ready i.e. they have a degree but they do not have the skills required to work.
I've interviewed literally hundreds of people for various positions, and I agree with much of what is being said here. Too many kids have everything handed to them (including, in some cases, passing grades when they really aren't performing to that standard). Once they graduate from college, they understandably believe the next thing they'll be handed is a great job.
I know of people who not only got cars, apartments and cell phones paid for during college, but they were given enough money (or took out student loans) to pay for regular sports activities, trips on Spring Break, pedicures twice a month, sushi dinners, concert tickets and other things that even successful career people (who actually work for their money) have to prioritize and budget for.
Some students also choose unusual majors that satisfy a fantasy life they have in mind, but aren't competitive in the Real World. One guy who didn't make the cut for even an interview had majored in theater arts, with an emphasis in mime. His only work experience (and yes, hiring managers pay attention to whether recent grads have actually worked before) was driving an ice cream truck. I'm sure that was more fun an flexible than a clerking job that might have given him relevant experience for the office job we were filling. I'm not real sure what he planned to do with a degree in mime, though.
Other 'highlights' I saw were interviewees who asked things like, "What can you do for me?" during the interview, or who looked around the room nodding and reassuring us that yes, this was exactly what he was looking for. Sorry - the feeling wasn't mutual.
Hiring managers respect new grads who have worked through college, and those who state up front that they understand they'll have to start at the bottom and work their way up. Contrary to what people think, there are still a good number of jobs out there. But unlike the good old days in college, they won't be handed to you.
To Marcy, my mother said the same thing thirty years ago. She said that employers look more favorably upon recent college graduates who worked during the summer because it demonstrated some type of work ethic. She even told me of college graduates who had mcjobs but advanced into more professsional jobs.
I would look down on someone who choose unemployment when a job was available not someone who took a job they were over-qualified for.
Over here in the UK one of the problems is that there are now far too many college graduates for the jobs available. Back in the dinosaur age when I went to college only around 12% of young people went on to tertiary education and it was still hard to get a good job when you left.
Now the government wants 50% of all youngsters to go on to university and so we are seeing a proliferation of strange courses and a general lowering of standards. Since CSI became popular we now have thousands of teenagers doing forensic science and how many jobs are there in forensics?
We would be much better off developing more apprenticeships and vocational courses that would give young people solid skills, work experience and a more balanced attitude about what to expect in the future - much more useful than a degree in popular vampire fiction from an obscure university!
McDonald's in the UK actually pays quite well - much better than a lot of the retail chains. A job is a job and anyone who is working deserves respect. Also where would we be without people who did what you are all calling Mc' jobs?
The idea of entrepreneurship is something that many look forward to more than any kind of employment from a third party. Job is job and when there's respect and money then that's the decision to be made.
Reason for no job right away after college is more of the individual graduate's lack of planning or passionate desires that mostly these days find it difficult to attain with strict competition.
The more the opportunities emerge the more the cutoffs happen. MNCs need the best of the heads in their firms and the rest though are talented if not meet the demands the head has put forward then its always a "BIG NO" and some sweet words that sound like "Thanks for coming".
But I believe sticking to the passion is what can get anyone to kiss success with a big heart and smart planning is the thing to go along as the next ingredient. Money is not everything but these days it really plays well so graduates believe the package isn't suited for their talent anyway so use up time and look for the right job in other place to go.
In many cases, the jobs that the grads want have been gutted from the US economy because of our economic woes -- woes that are mostly rooted in shipping jobs offshore and then hiding the profits in offshore banks.
Now we are told that big business must be free of regulations so they can fix everything. Wall St. will suddenly become honest, the national debt will magically disappear and although millions of secret dollars are poured into election campaigns, politicians will not be swayed by their benefactors.
The unemployed college grads are not the cause of any part of this, rather they are the collateral damage from what we have allowed to happen for the sake of a quick buck.
Step #1 to begin reversing this is to get the freakin' money out of politics.
I'd go out on a limb to say that they were coddled into thinking they deserve this but the reality is this is what it available. And for those students who have little experience but have an education well that will not cut it. Employers are cutting costs everywhere and they have not proven themselves deserving of the higher salary.
You need to be super attractive to employers. Speak 2 or 3 languages, have some real work experience or they'll be in roommate hell for 10 yrs longer than they thought. Or at the very least take a job beneath you that is at nights so you can be available to interview for that highly sought career day job.
Hugh, I think the USA is a lot more corrupt than 10 or 20 years ago. So many loopholes and 5 or 10 year trials for high positioned corporate officers. It's moving towards 2nd and 3rd world status. Not close but that is the direction versus getting better.
Our infrastructure is becoming outdated, medical and research reports are now in the news from Brazil, India, and China. They build large structures a lot quicker than us.Cities in the US going bankrupt. Yes it is happening - Stockton, CA?
You have presented an excellent premise! Recent college graduates had better wake up and recognize! Society is ever changing and evolving. This is beyond future shock and the third wave. It is now power shift in its next phase. Young people must possess a global mentality. 21st century society is now global. No longer is there the prospectus of the one nation mentality. That idea is totally passe.
Of course, in order to thrive in this global society, young people have to be multilingual, especially in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other Asian languages as those countries have a strong economy. Also, it pays to major in something that is marketable and profitable. Majoring in the liberal arts is totally antediluvian. Of couse, being extremely prodigiously proficient in computer skills are an absolute necessary. Millenials(Generation X) must adjust and get on board. To paraphrase what the revolutionary soldier said to Dr. Zhivago- you have to adapt!
Why many recent college graduates are unemployed? Because, they waiting to get jobs, like they were programmed to do, so they can start their career of choice and most of them don't want to or won't take a really "poor" job because it's beneath them.
Since they were not taught to be go-getters then they will bide their time and until something breaks, either their living situation worsens or possibly some other reason.
The college graduate is out of his league in the market place. The positions a college graduate would be looking for, should be internship or apprenticeship at some company within their field of study, but those types of things in the present Economy are scarce. If any position opens, there will be at least 200 applicants for the position? That doesn't make it look good, especially if there are more qualified people than the college graduate.
I'm sure a minor portion of college graduates actually go on to start their own companies right out of college. Possibly some before college was even done. Those people are the ones who are going to prosper.
It's a supply and demand thing. Back when I left school (at 14) only about 35% of kids finished highschool at seveteen in what they called Year Six. The remaining 65% finished at fifteen (Year 4) Many of these latter took up trades as apprentices doing four, five or six years to qualify. Legal adulthood began at 21 and from that time on one could earn a man's wage. The result: plenty of well qualified tradesmen. However, as boy apprentices, their wages were very low indeed.
Of the 35% or so who stayed on until seventeen, only about then percent of these went on to university. Being a uni graduate almost guranteed a start as a professional in, say, acountancy, law, or medicine. In other words there were very few of graduates for the positions available in society. There were also, far less institutions of Higher Learning.
Now it's got to the stage where around half the school leavers work to go to univesity. There just are't enough professional positions available. So what happens? They go for higher qualifcations hoping this will help. It's getting so one has to have a masters degree just to get an interview to even be considered for a good position.
With nearly all the unskilled and manual-labour positions now gone, we find a huge pool of disenchanted, especially among the school-early leavers and even the higher qualified who just can't find a career path-job.
Good point there's certainly a mismatch between what society expects of one who goes to college, and the changed reality of ever greater number of people attending college.
I wish there were some actual employers weighing in here because I know a number of them who have been "burned" so to speak, by the fresh out of college hires, and are therefore reluctant to travel that path again...thus the growing emphasis on experience. In recent years the "entitlement" generation has forgotten that a bachelors degree doesn't make you an "expert" at anything--it lays the ground work for future expertise which is a result of hard work. Many new college grads were expecting to step into jobs and immediately collect the same pay,position and benefits that more experienced employees recieved but without taking the time to put thier noses to the grindstone. Employers that I've talked to found that these young graduates were great at selling their "greatness"
(because they really believed it, due to two decades of frantic self-esteem conditioning) but they fell seriously short when it came to actual useful knowledge and work ethic--things that previous generations simply understood were accumulated during the early years in the workforce while you were "paying your dues".
I have two daughters in college right now and they both work part time during the school year and full time during the summer, plus they work summer internships. The jobs help keep their costs down and the internships not only provide a jumpstart on that whole experience issue but they also get your foot in the door for future employers. Internships are pretty thankless and they are very often unpaid but if you have a great work ethic and a willingness to learn, employers are going to remember you when you apply for actual employment after graduation. It amazes me how many current college students just take the summer off and hang out by the pool.
My niece is a recent college graduate. She did have a part-time job during college (copy editor of university newspaper). She has completed two paid internships, both in Washington DC. One was with the U.S.D.A, and one was with a huge communications firm.
Living in DC for 5 months was the perfect opportunity for her to apply for jobs, which she did. But she was not selected after doing a couple of interviews. Her degree is in public relations.
Now she's back home with mom and dad, and has applied for her third paid internship locally. We are crossing our fingers for her to get this internship. There's nothing else on the horizon.
I do agree that today's college graduates do not necessarily have a concept of an entry-level job in their chosen field. They want it all, right away. Years ago, I was very lucky to get a position in my desired field, but I had to start at an unattractively low salary.
@ SGHupp & Gracenotes - first, I think several of us who have chimed in here are speaking from the viewpoint of the employer. I have spent many years as a hiring manager. And I've interviewed tons of recent grads. And much of my career was in Public Relations. Here's what I saw:
Many new grads cannot put together a legible sentence. Most careers requiring education will also require you to write at some point - reports, executive summaries, analysis, narratives for budgets, and yes, news releases, speeches and other tools for PR, if that's your field. The corollary to the lack of writing skills is a lack of understanding the real world. This is especially true for students who went to school on mom & dad's ticket and did not have to learn to live on a shoestring. Or Ramen Noodles.
Many new grads expect to get big bucks right out of school. Some are competitive in terms of education and skills learned in college, but the competition is stiff, so the applicant who actually worked somewhere has the edge.
Paid internships are hard to come by - but I had a series of UNPAID interns who each worked a semester doing legitimate PR work. They were great - they worked hard, left our place with real work samples (writing credits and real experience dealing with the media), and they were hired after graduation. Some have stayed in touch and are good friends to this day. I'd love to have paid them, but our organization did not permit budgeting for intern salaries. The one-semester internships were a win/win for us, and for the interns. And it all started because a student with some initiative contacted us several times asking to work, and we were finally able to make it happen.
Regarding degrees in popular areas (PR and Marketing are good examples). Those jobs are very difficult to land in the current economy. Students in those major should consider having a back-up plan and be prepared to pay their dues. One strategy is to look for small companies that need admin or office work, but could also benefit from marketing. Then approach them about doing both jobs - you can help them run the business and also help build the client base. This will give the grad experience in their field without having to compete with 200-300 people for the few openings in town.
This type of experience can indeed be leveraged into the fulltime position the grad wants in PR or marketing. Sure, it means doing office work to start (which, by the way, never goes away), but it also offers a chance to build a portfolio.
Please excuse any typos - mobile device here.
That is so true. Many recent college graduates students major in subjects that often have no application in the real work world. There are quite a few recent college graduates , especially those who are highly affluent and never worked before, who expect to land a great job. Well such cases are extremely few and far between. Most recent college graduates have to start at the bottom and some even have to work a mcjob until they either gain the prerequisite experience or something more commensurate to their educational level arrives. However, many recent college graduates fail to realize that until they encounter the work hard. They are in for quite a rude and realistic awakening.
My niece pushed herself hard to get out of high school in 3 years. When she graduated from college, that made her one year younger than most graduates. Whether that made her "not as mature", I cannot say.
Her interviews in DC were with Pew Research and the Humane Society. I don't believe any interview is wasted, even if you come up empty. Frankly, I would consider it an honor to even have Pew Research interested in talking to me face-to-face.
Well, we can hope she'll do well on her interview for the paid internship, which happens via Skype this Friday. There are some personal advantages for her, as the internship is in Dallas.
My niece's verbal skills are formidable, but that doesn't mean the competition is any less fierce for available entry-level jobs. I think my niece should also do more online writing, other than the blog she maintains. Heck, she is even capable of writing a book, and marketing it herself as downloadable content.
New grads are out of work, because: They are relatively new to the workforce, and there is a long line ahead of them. Just because you went to college got a degree, doesn't mean to go to the head of the breadline. Entry-level positions, that is the lowest positions on the corporate ladder will still be hard to come by. The economy hasn't rebounded enough, and the ones occupying that entry level position may have been downsized to that position over the past several months. Welcome to the real world.
Many are still opting to work beyond 65+, labor force is increasing while job offering is stagnant or mismatched of job opening against qualification. In order to give a proper analysis data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics should be compared. Last five years should be enough if you want to know what happened one year prior to Obama pres. and his term.
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