Monday, May 12, 2014

How College Graduates Can Hurdle the Job Market Without the Blues

Even with the slowly recovering economy, college graduates still face a huge block in their search for a job. Aside from things beyond their own control, such as the unemployment rate for those in their early 20s which is well above the national average of 6.3%; crushing levels of student debt; a gap between the skills students develop in college and those employers actually want, new grads also continue to have exaggerated hopes of what employers are most probably going to offer, and so become discouraged, a Yahoo news recently reported.

Based on a study made by Accenture, a management consulting firm headquartered in Ireland, these are some overly high expectations of new graduates:
Pay. Only 18% of the members of the class of 2014 think they’ll earn less than $25,000 in their first job. But 41% of grads from the last two years fell below that level.
Meaningful work. Most of this year’s grads — 84%— expect to find a job in a field related to their college major. But only 67% of 2012 and 2013 grads were able to pull that off.
Training. Eighty percent of 2014 grads think they’ll get formal training at their first job. But less than half typically do. -  See more at: 
Basically, graduates are discouraged because their college education is expensive, and that often leads to most idealizing their first job, hoping to start paying off their student loan debts.

The average cost of college tuition continues to rise at a rate of 4.5 % at private universities and 8.3 % at public college, according to research made as of 11.23.2013 (Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)
Here are some figures:
For SY 2012–2013, the total tuition, room and board rates charged for full-time undergraduate students in degree-granting institutions for 1 year of college are as follows:
$19,344 – All institutions
$22,261 - 4-Year Institutions
$9,180 – 2-Year Institutions
If students are fully financing their (college) education with loans at 4% over ten years, the bachelor’s degree will cost $154,000. - See here:
Thus, unable to find their dream job for which they arduously prepared for 4 years in college, accruing debts along the way, many new grads are starting to wonder then if a college education is worth it after all.

College is indeed a good foundation and gives one a rounded understanding of basic things working class adults should know, but how to apply skills? For one thing, these are skills learned over time with experience and not what one gets in the classroom. 

College graduates would do well to approach the job market facing facts squarely with feet planted on the ground. 

Here are ways college graduates can hurdle the competitive job race without giving into the blues.  
Do volunteer work.
Many students find volunteering helpful as it adds up to their skills and experience. It is a great way to build connections that may lead you to a job or to your dream job itself. Remember, the more experience you get, the better off you will be once you obtain that degree.

Start low and build up.
In the face of the stiff job competition, you cannot afford to be choosy, especially with a huge debt to pay off. It is not a matter of finding $100,000 jobs right out of school; it is a matter of finding any job out of school. The best thing is you have a job. Then start to learn new skills, and build up experience, as well as your confidence.

Continue to learn on the job.
Learning does not stop in the classroom. Be willing to do any tasks given to you, as this helps you build more skills and experience. It may or may not lead to what you have prepared for in college, but it may help you go up the “corporate” ladder, or prepare you for a better job in another setting.

Along the way, do some networking, among your friends and co-workers. Tell them about your skills, interests and qualifications.

Go to, a career opportunity resource and job search engine for the cultural diversity marketplace. Look through its list of prestigious member diversity companies, and browse for diversity jobs that fit your interests and qualifications.

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