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How Recent Grads Can Find Jobs - What's the Secret?

Updated on January 1, 2015

Bob Cratchit


Work or Punishment?

New Graduates from colleges and graduates across America hope to fare better than Bob Cratchit in finding their first job after school. Alas, some feel that they are no better off than Cratchit in the beginning of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and many cannot seem to find a job at all.

What can be done about that?

Where To Find the Jobs

I belong to a fairly large church that maintains an online bulletin board for job requests and other needs for its mostly college-aged congregation. Occasionally, older members of the group post job openings and referrals to friends who have openings. This is often a good way for Young Professionals to find a job within a friendly group.

Watching the board from winter through autumn 2012, I saw that bulk of job seeking requests were for a direct placement into a position, without resume submission, application, or interview. This sort of opportunity for employment can rarely be found and these requests remain unanswered. In the days when American support more factories, new high school grads could walk down to the local plant and go to work the next day, but this is no longer the case in most factory work. New grads are usually required to go through a lengthy process that may take two months to manifest in a job offer. I am working with one person right now that is finally having an interview after 7 weeks of efforts.

In order to secure a job in the 2010s, work seekers need to be willing to apply, submit a resume, prove his or her reading, math, and writing skills, and to participate energetically in anywhere from one to a series of employment interviews for each job vacancy approached. The college degree in particular subjects may prove worthless. From 2010 through 2012, I have found these jobs to be the highest in demand in most of the USA:

  1. Healthcare: Physicians, Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacy Technicians, and Speech Therapists.
  2. Engineering: Electrical, Mechanical, Environmental, and IT-related. An increase in Aerospace related work began in mid-2011 and has increased each year thereafter.
  3. Business and Financial Analysts and related jobs.
  4. Truck Driving: As an employee or owner-operator.
  5. Other IT-related occupations.
  6. Sales Representatives and Salespeople.

Other Occupations

If you are a New Grad in 2012 - 2022 and looking for work in other fields besides these listed above, you will have a much harder time finding a job offer.

Competition for jobs is high and securing one takes work. Looking for a job is a job in itself, and often, a harder job than the actual position offered and accepted. That is not a pleasant circumstance, but must be faced by most new graduates.

If you are a New Grad in 2012 - 2022 and looking for work in other fields besides these listed above, you will have a much harder time finding a job offer.

Significant Increase June - August 2012 to 4.4 Million; 6 Mil by June 2014

Jobs increasing are not summer seasonal jobs, but long-term full-time occupations in Health, Engineering and other fields.
Jobs increasing are not summer seasonal jobs, but long-term full-time occupations in Health, Engineering and other fields. | Source
Total jobs advertised 2014.
Total jobs advertised 2014. | Source

Companies That Hire Groups of Young People

Across America, certain large companies hire Young Adults from schools and youth groups associated with city recreation programs or churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship.

One such employer has been Worthington Industries, a steel manufacturer in Ohio that shows sales of $2.6 Billion yearly. The company maintains 80 branches around America and the world, so check their websites for job listings.

Worthington Industries was recognized four times by Fortune Magazine among the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America.

Look for companies like this in your area and consult "best companies" lists by accessing online magazines like:

  • Fortune
  • CNNMoney
  • US News and World Report
  • Bloomberg Businessweek

Jobs Under the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations

I noticed a drop in starting salaries across the board advertised around the US beginning in the mid-1990s. New college and graduate school graduates were greeted by lower salary and benefit packages than they expected. Starting salaries fluctuated somewhat for a decade hence before the Recession of 2008 - 2010 occurred and the recession, effectively reducing the numbers of jobs for new grads as well. Texas was one of the state that was not affected to the extent that the rest of America suffered under the recession and new grads there enjoyed a larger job market with higher starting salaries.

Large numbers of adults returned to school in order to complete their first degrees in college or to participate in graduate school programs for advanced degrees during this time in the 1990s and 2000s. They placed themselves into competition for jobs alongside new graduates in their 20s. This seemed to reduce the number of job available to the younger graduates, although some employers preferred younger starting employees.

Under the Clinton Administration, summer and year-round after school job programs filled many slots with high school youth, where adults would have been employed previously, effectively reducing the job market for some new graduates even further. At the same time, subsidized employment for Senor Citizens in the form of paid internships, usually part-time, filled some of these job slots as well. One of the largest subsidized job programs occurred under the Welfare to Work reform project during the Clinton years, filling job slots with adults that were receiving public assistance.

The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) that provided funds for subsidized employment expired and was replaced by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in the 2000s, effectively reducing the number of subsidized jobs available and curtailing most of the traditional, large summer jobs programs for youth.

During the end of the Bush Administration, total jobs posted across the Internet in America numbered approximately 6 million on a daily basis. In 2011 and 2012, that average number has reduced to about 4.8 million job vacancies. Some major job markets in the US are still experiencing increases in jobs, however. For example, in late August 2012, Missouri had almost 80,000 job openings posted across the Internet, while year-to-date comparison shows only 46,000 openings in 2011. Texas showed job increases. In Ohio, although political campaign ads highlighted a loss of 63,000 jobs during the year, they did not mention that 113,000 new jobs that took their place.

At the same time, the reality is that 2012 provides over a million fewer jobs to job seekers across America than were usually available before the recession. Certain job markets are showing job increases, however, and new grads may need to move more frequently than in previous years in order to accept gainful employment.

Help For New Grads Suggested

Us News and World Report in a news magazine that had been providing information to the American public for many decades. It is one of many that offer job market analysis and top 10 Lists of places to go to find work.

The magazine and website suggest five online companies that they feel will be most helpful to new graduates seeking employment through the early 2020s. The suggested companies include:

Posted on August 2, 2012 at US News and World Report, had already changed its website address before August 5 and left job seekers disconnected. However, government jobs are often a good place to begin a career. The corrected link appears below:

  • USAJOBS - Student Jobs -- Quote: "Starting in the summer of 2012, newly streamlined programs will help students and recent graduates get started in the Federal workforce."


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I must say that I have felt like Bob Cratchit in some jobs worked right after graduation. One such job was data entry on third shift for several months; I hated it for the negative atmosphere, inhumane treatment, and only a few minutes for lunch. New grads today will do much better, one hopes.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • annanee profile image

      annanee 3 years ago from USA

      The comparison with Bob Cratchit is very inspired, and sad at the same time. Very good article, thanks for sharing.

    • BusinessTime profile image

      Sarah Kolb-Williams 5 years ago from Twin Cities

      Very comprehensive, well-researched article. Thanks so much!