The College Student and the Job Market

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /

If you assume you can find a decent-paying job without a college education, think twice.

The New York Times says employers nowadays are requiring college degrees for positions that didn’t previously require higher education.

So, if you thought you could get a job as a file clerk or a similar position without graduating from college, those jobs could become increasingly harder and harder to find.

Check out these numbers from The New York Times:

“The unemployment rate for workers with no more than a high school diploma is more than twice that for workers with a bachelor’s degree: 8.1 percentversus 3.7 percent.”

Yeah, you read that right. Unemployment is double for people with just high school diplomas.

But just because you have a college degree doesn’t mean you’ve got it made. Going to college is increasingly becoming a factor that doesn’t set you apart from the crowd anymore. Employers are looking for the degree plus internships plus work experience.

And, unfortunately, while the requirements for jobs get higher and higher, so does the cost of college tuition. Most of us are walking around with tens of thousands of dollars in debt that makes finding a job with a decent salary 100 percent necessary after graduation.

However, as degrees become more commonplace, the task of finding a job after college gets even harder. You may even have to settle with something you are overqualified for in order just to make money (and pay off those student loans).

So, to sum up the problems:

  1.  If you don’t go to college, it’s hard to find a job.
  2.  If you do go to college, you’ll still have a hard time finding a job.
  3. College costs money that you don’t have.
  4. Even if you spend that money on college, you might not get it back because you can’t find a job.

It’s a twisted, messed-up system that we’re in, but unfortunately, it’s something we have to live with because it’s not changing anytime soon.

Freaking out because you can’t find  a job in your field of choice? Don’t fret … even if you land in something that isn’t your ideal, you could end up getting promoted to a higher level down the road OR maybe even find out that you like the field that you’re in.

For example, one of my friends went to school for interior design and had a hard time finding a job (thanks to the recession). Because of this, she started working at an insurance agency. Since she started there, she’s received promotions and is working to go even further in her field. While it wasn’t her number one choice, she is getting paid well and enjoys it. While she still would like to get back into interior design, working at the insurance agency is a heck of a lot better (and more productive) than sitting around and lamenting about not finding a job.

However, just because you can’t find something doesn’t mean you have to settle on something right away. If you really don’t feel like something is a good fit, then there is no harm in turning it down as long as you are able to rely on support from your parents or you can find  a part-time job.

Don’t let this twisted job market force you to give up on pursuing your dreams!

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