Degreed and disgusted: College grads fed up with dismal prospects

Take a gander at the provocative op-ed in The New York Times comparing the unemployment of young Americans with that of Egyptians. Author Matthew C. Klein notes, “About one-fourth of Egyptian workers under 25 are unemployed, a statistic that is often cited as a reason for the revolution there. In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January an official unemployment rate of 21 percent for workers ages 16 to 24.”

The piece hit home as I saw old friends this weekend and was surprised how many of their children who recently graduated have yet to find real jobs and were considering master’s programs as a result. (I have a daughter in her first year of grad school although she went straight from UGA to Georgetown and never negotiated the job market.)

In the piece, “Educated, Unemployed and Frustrated, Klein says:

My generation was taught that all we needed to succeed was an education and hard work. Tell that to my friend from high school who studied Chinese and international relations at a top-tier college. He had the misfortune to graduate in the class of 2009, and could find paid work only as a lifeguard and a personal trainer.  Unpaid internships at research institutes led to nothing.  After more than a year he moved back in with his parents.

Millions of college graduates in rich nations could tell similar stories. In Italy, Portugal and Spain, about one-fourth of college graduates under the age of 25 are unemployed. In the United States, the official unemployment rate for this group is 11.2 percent, but for college graduates 25 and over it is only 4.5 percent.

The true unemployment rate for young graduates is most likely even higher because it fails to account for those who went to graduate school in an attempt to ride out the economic storm or fled the country to teach English overseas. It would be higher still if it accounted for all of those young graduates who have given up looking for full-time work, and are working part time for lack of any alternative.

The cost of youth unemployment is not only financial, but also emotional. Having a job is supposed to be the reward for hours of SAT prep, evenings spent on homework instead of with friends and countless all-nighters writing papers. The millions of young people who cannot get jobs or who take work that does not require a college education are in danger of losing their faith in the future. They are indefinitely postponing the life they wanted and prepared for; all that matters is finding rent money. Even if the job market becomes as robust as it was in 2007 — something economists say could take more than a decade — my generation will have lost years of career-building experience.

–From Maureen Downey and the AJC Get School blog.

88 comments Add your comment

Cue the violins

March 22nd, 2011
4:59 am

Boo the frigging hoo. My generation was told the same thing (go to school/conquer the world) and then the economy tanked.We had to do something else. I worked for a year in a crap-job before going to graduate school in Boston. Never once did I blame any person or entity for this detour. I just accepted it as a natural detour of life and adjusted accordingly. After grad school, I landed jobs doing what I wanted to do and in the fields in which I have my degrees.

Why do people think this is the first (or last time) this economic climate will happen? When I hear all the whiners complain about this, that or the other, I am so thankful my parents are part of the ” greatest generation that ever was.” My mom has lived through a few wars and the Depression, and instilled in me the idea that things do get better. My generation did complain, of course, but we were probably better prepared to deal with life’s unexpected circumstances.

Telling these recent grads to “grow a set” would probably be too harsh and hurt their feelings, but that’s what they need to do. We’re tired of hearing their problems. They need to find solutions, take action and quit complaining. It does get better. It may take some time, but it does happen–stop being so impatient.

DavidEm

March 22nd, 2011
6:52 am

It does seem like the generation with the greatest sense of entitlement.

After ALL those sacrifices for FOUR WHOLE YEARS—”hours of SAT prep, evenings spent on homework instead of with friends and countless all-nighters writing papers”—they obviously should be enjoying the lucrative careers to which such dire suffering entitles them.

The economy’s terrible for everyone except the very rich. ALL of us have to struggle to keep up our faith in the furure. At least the young have the resilience of youth to help them through it.

Forsyth County Mom

March 22nd, 2011
7:00 am

Sounds to me like a graduate of the “School of Instant Gratification, and If I Don’t Get It I’m Gonna Blame The World While I Whine About My Misfortune”. Try being like my husband, who is 56, been out of work for 2 years and can’t even get an interview at Mickey D’s. Now back in school, he’s about to lose HOPE, which means he’ll have to quit that, since our only income is my Disability. Thanks for nothing, Mr. NO DEAL!

confussedd

March 22nd, 2011
7:03 am

Take a job and make the best of it. I left school with a Bachelors degree in the mid 1990’s and had 3 jobs to make it. Substitute Teacher, resturant waiter and military reservist took all my time from 5am to 10 pm 7 days a week for a few years and then I added in graduate school at night ( part time without financing and housing from mommy and daddy). A college degree is no guarantee of anything and working hard has no substitute. Kids feel entitled but they are not and their parents should not make them think they are. This is not Egypt. Work is available it may involve actual labor and bad hours that cut into video game and vacation time but it is out there.

Al

March 22nd, 2011
7:06 am

Chinese and international relations isn’t a great degree, even from a top tier college. Just sayin’.

The truth

March 22nd, 2011
7:26 am

We have too many college graduates, what are they going to do? A nation cannot survive on service jobs alone (Mcdonalds, Burger King and Best buy).
We need to bring back industry and put the every day Joe Blow back to work.
Forsyth County Mom – I feel for you, I’ve got friends that are like your husband.

The truth

March 22nd, 2011
7:29 am

Your comment is awaiting moderation. Is that like CENSORSHIP?

atlmom

March 22nd, 2011
7:31 am

Agree with those above…Seriously. WOW.
I graduated with a degree in mathematics…and there was NOTHING out there, 20 years ago. I was waiting tables with other college graduates. That’s what we could get (after months of temping and catering work). That’s the way it goes.
I saved some money and applied to grad schools. So, you take a job doing something. I was very lucky – I was living with my mom. BUT she just let me live there and fed me. Anything else I needed/wanted, well, that was up to me.
Why does anyone think someone else owes them a job? Why should I feel sorry for them? I know plenty of talented people out there who haven’t worked in a long while.
Funnily- 20 years ago we college grads were told: sorry, you have no experience, and look at how many really talented people there are out of work with experience – and they’re applying to the same jobs you are. Now, today, I’m told: oh, you’re too expensive, we’ll just hire someone with little or no experience and pay them less…

Ozzy

March 22nd, 2011
7:32 am

The choice of majors is probably one of the problems. Of course you’re not going to find a job if you major in English, Sociology, Psychology,
Journalism, Anthropology, Archeology, Classics, History, Housing, Excercise Science, etc. etc. etc……

Do yourself a favor kids, find out which degrees recruiters are still coming to campus to hire for, then choose one of those degrees. Accounting, Nursing, Engineering would be good examples.

atlmom

March 22nd, 2011
7:37 am

and so sorry…there’s no job waiting for you as a ‘reward.’ You try to get education, etc, but no one owes you a job.
What about all those people who couldn’t or didn’t want to get an education? Why no sob stories for those people? They’ve got to have it much worse, no?
Sorry – learning about the real world is learning about the real world. GREAT education. And, um, they will have faith in the future. What a load of bull. Jeez…really? Oh, no! They don’t have ‘faith’ in the ‘future.’ Boo hoo.
How about if they didn’t elect a leader who didn’t know what the heck he was doing, perhaps we wouldn’t have a sky high deficit, we’d have a better regulatory environment, we’d have someone with leadership skills who could take on the budget fights that are needed, we’d have someone who could handle our tax issues, Um, I could go on….

John

March 22nd, 2011
7:39 am

“They are indefinitely postponing the life they wanted and prepared for; all that matters is finding rent money.”

Welcome to the real world kids. I graduated in the early 90s with a degree that was supposed to be an instant job getter (engineering). But there was a dip in the job market at that time, so I had to take whatever job I could find until the “right opportunity” came along a few years later. My advice is that in times like these, getting experience on any job is the key until you can land something that you really want. It also helps keeps the bills paid and food in your stomach.

The truth

March 22nd, 2011
7:44 am

I say go to Tech school, learn Diesel mechanic, air condition repair, computer repair or some other technical job. It doesn’t sound as impressive but they do tend to pay a lot better than wal-mart.

Dr NO...

March 22nd, 2011
7:49 am

Im sure its the govts fault.

Ya know, one takes a job and works up or wait until something better comes along. A college degree is a guarantee of nothing. Those numbers are skewed anyway…they are a lie.

atlmom

March 22nd, 2011
7:50 am

Maybe those graduates should talk with their parents? Some who may have 20 or 30 or more years experience and can’t find jobs? Or who can’t sell a house they have worked so hard to own and maintain, when they don’t need the house anymore? And can’t afford it because of no one in the house is working?
Again, wow.
And, what’s wrong with teaching english overseas? Wow, I would have loved to do that 20 years ago. I didn’t know about the au pair programs for americans back then, either, and that would have been a fantastic opportunity, too….

FCS Teacher

March 22nd, 2011
8:03 am

As a teacher, I feel that the biggest disconnect that is affecting these recent graduates is the lie that the system has fed them that the goal of education is to secure wealth in the future. Most universities were not set up as trade schools, and they should not be seen in that light. When our country returns to a point where the goal of education renews its purpose of creating enlightened citizens and not boosting competitiveness, we will once again see education as a resouce and not a commodity that can be cashed in for profit.

NEWtotheATL

March 22nd, 2011
8:12 am

I’m not sure I really get this whole article. I mean if you have a bachelor’s degree and are over 25 your unemployment rate is at 4%. I don’t feel there is THAT big of a shortage for college graduates finding jobs. I will be honest with everyone I graduated college with a BA in Political Science, worked as an intern in college and got a job at the same company when I got out of college. I found another job I liked better here in the Atlanta area, took it and I am very happy. When I was applying for jobs down here I got 2 job offers in 30 days!!! I applied to about 200 jobs but still. A degree does put you ahead of the game, but it certainly does not guarantee anything. I had jobs in which I worked long hours, got dirty and sore, I almost feel like it is a rite of passage. I have worked hard and now I am doing what I love in a city that I love!!

Are we to blame?

March 22nd, 2011
8:14 am

This is a fine example of we adults reaping what we have sowed. We have instilled such a sense of entitlement amongst this current generation of teens / young adults. From programs that encourage participation not competition. games where everyone is a winner, can’t call someone a loser, oh no, that might hurt a child’s feelings. folks we are getting what we created. A group of children who do not know the feeling of losing (not having a job) and who think that just because they have participated in college they deserve the prize (a job). we failed this generation miserably and we continue to do so by not setting realistic expectations for these kids. Parents too often just want to be liked by their kids, and if i am honest I probably fall into this trap myself as well. We have to stop expecting our future generations to just show up to the game. That is not enough in today’s global climate. There are more AP level students in India and China than there are students in the USA. If we ant to survive as a nation we have to step up as parents and stop short changing our kids. Yes these kids are whiney, but we created them.

Duh, Winning!

March 22nd, 2011
8:14 am

Sounds to me like its the “older generation” who are actually complaining about not finding a job.

CW

March 22nd, 2011
8:15 am

The tone of these responses is sure mean spirited. I am surprised by the lack of concern for the underlying issues, including a lack of sympathy and sense of community. If one remembers last week the projection of a hollowing out of the workforce so that most jobs will be low paying and others (assume fewer) high paying with few jobs in between, then we might stop the self-righteousnous and start to give some thought to the future of this country where the gap between the wealthy and the poor increases and the middle class gets squeezed downward. Eventually, if we continue the current momentum, the U.S. will be a developing country subservient to China.

Minted MBA

March 22nd, 2011
8:34 am

@ FCS
I wholeheartedly agree..I obtainted an undergraduate degree in Marketing in ‘97 and an MBA in Finance in ‘99. I was quite fortunate to have offers from 5 different Fortune 100 firms.

Sadly, the timing of when one graduates from college can affect their lifetime earnings as a healthy economy provides some much-needed luck in the job market. Hard work is only one factor in the equation.

Fled

March 22nd, 2011
8:42 am

@CW

Good points all. I would point out that the US in many ways is already behind China and also other countries such as India. Living overseas, I have seen first-hand that there are indeed educated, talented people who will do good work for much less than Americans: plumbers, accountants, laborers, you name it. We are already behind, and falling further behind every day.

On the other hand, I do have to agree that the generation coming out of college has a strong sense of entitlement, and that is going to cause social and personal problems for a long time. Recent college graduates probably would have graduated in 2004-2007, roughly the time I was teaching in a well-known north Fulton high school. I remember trying over and over to convince the students that things might not be as rosy as they expected (and, yes, felt entitled to), but it was mostly to no avail, with some exceptions. But we should also remember that these kids were taught that they were the most important people in the world and that if they had any problems is was always someone else’s fault, often the mean old teacher who didn’t roll over and play dead in the face of their genius.

Those who choose majors based on what is “hot” at the moment are also playing a risky game. We have all seen how many quick shifts there are in the job market. I completely disagree about the lack of value liberal arts degrees offer: a good program will teach you how to think, read, and write.

I am a lowly teacher, and I make six figures with a host of benefits you would not believe, including enrolling my children in a world-class private school for free. It is rough and tough living and working as an ex-pat, not at all easy. But I don’t dread my days the way I did in north Fulton.

tar and feathers party

March 22nd, 2011
8:43 am

I told you people to work on your lower body strength, it will serve you well as you work in my cotton fields for a crust of bread a day……If you are too weak, you will only earn half a crust of bread per day, and don’t come whining to me about malnutrition.

Bill

March 22nd, 2011
8:48 am

Wow, it seems that most of those posting comments completely missed the point of the article. It was not about sympathy (at least that was not the major point). The major point was that in terms of recent college graduates our situation is not that different from Egypt. In case you haven’t noticed, they are having some problems.

Mark

March 22nd, 2011
8:50 am

All of the old fogies here who are saying that us kids are whining sissies can stuff it where the sun don’t shine. I am lucky to have graduated recently and found a job, but many of my friends haven’t. A lot of us worked jobs during school, walked to class uphill both ways, and did all of the things you say you did. However, what many of you are failing to realize is that even adjusted for inflation, college and grad school is now infinitely more expensive than when you were in school. It is now virtually impossible to work a full time job while in school that makes a dent in college expenses and tuition. The cost of higher education is far out-pacing inflation. Heck, it is running laps around inflation.

Grady

March 22nd, 2011
8:59 am

I’d like a report on how many of these people graduated from UGA or GA State or Southern with a degree in some liberal arts area. This guy’s friend who studied Chinese and International relations should have studied engineering and the like. I heard Clark Howard say the other day that there were not enough people filling the jobs in engineering and in professional lines of work. I sub teach right now while going through grad school, live with my in-laws to save for a house, and also apply for jobs as a ref for little league (glutton for punishment). If you are crying about costs, join the military. Its what I did. Its what my sister is doing. Paid for an AAS, A BA, and now for an MAT and will probably pay for another degree or part of another. Does it suck? Yes. Is there something you can do about it? Yeah, get a better major and choose the hard way, not the easy one.

Vote Republican

March 22nd, 2011
8:59 am

ATL MOM: How about if they didn’t elect a leader who didn’t know what the heck he was doing, perhaps we wouldn’t have a sky high deficit, we’d have a better regulatory environment, we’d have someone with leadership skills who could take on the budget fights that are needed, we’d have someone who could handle our tax issues, Um, I could go on….

and tell how great it is to be a Republican and how much you miss the competence and compassion of your previous president and governor. Those Democrats! They think too much.

We just need to cut taxes again. that’s always the solution. Even better, no taxes at all as Deal endorsed for Georgia movie makers.

Well they voted for "Obama" didn't they?

March 22nd, 2011
9:01 am

Good for them…it was the 18-25 year old group that carried Obama into the White House electorally. Payback is tough, isn’t it? I’m glad this “entitlement generation” is getting a good dose of reality and responsibility for their actions.

Bottomline – elect a president who is anti-business and socialistic, and this is what you get. Listen to your left-wing professors who never held a job in their life outside academia and refuse to accept true economic laws of reality and try and sell socialism as the worthiest economic environment and this is what you get.

Don’t worry, this will all be fixed when we get a pro-business administration back in the White House.

In the meantime – go ask Obama for a job – I am sure he can help you now? Your “Savior”?

Cherokee

March 22nd, 2011
9:01 am

I’m was born at the front end of the Millennial generation in question and, from my point of view, there is a schism between the spoiled and those willing to work hard developing. I came out of college six years ago and the difference in attitudes that interns I see in our office now is stunning. No hunger at all! Most students will not go out of their way to do something above what is minimally required — and these are folks my siblings’ age! We’re not talking a big generation gap.

Maybe that comes with age, I don’t know. Personally, I think that the entitlement thought-process we are discussing here comes from a cultural shift in how much we expect from college students. Academic expectations have absolutely fallen and the constantly calling young adults “children” or “kids” by society in general, including by Maureen and folks on this blog. It’s detrimental for sure and continues childhood for college students. College is no longer a transition into adulthood. It’s an extension of adolescence. This leads to the entitlement mentality.

Vote Republican

March 22nd, 2011
9:02 am

Grady: I’m sure you will pay back your genenous in-laws once you are gainfully employed and not mooching. Oh, you probably think you are paying your own way now. sorry.

Vote Republican

March 22nd, 2011
9:04 am

Bush bled the US treasury dry, and you blame Obama for that? Vote Republican. You’ll get what you deserve.

intownparent

March 22nd, 2011
9:08 am

This is what will finally force colleges to get their tuition in line with the conditions of the real world. Private colleges have a price tag of around $200,000 for a bachelor’s degree. That’s insane and just won’t pay of for the vast majority of graduates in the real world. Ultra high priced private colleges will have to change their ways or become obsolete. Students do not need five star resorts as their residences while in college… but if you look over campuses today, you would think it was a top tier Hyatt.

This plus the fact that everyone gets a fake “gold” trophy just for showing up at a few soccer practices has created this attitude. It’s not the kids’ fault, it the parents’ fault.

Yankee Prof

March 22nd, 2011
9:26 am

I didn’t read Mr. Klein’s piece as whiny. He addresses the impressions we have sold the past several generations of high school students and the realities of our economy. He wonders about parallels between our own under-employed higher-educated youth and those in other countries currently experiencing social unrest. These are significant, thoughtful questions that deserve a more nuanced response than, “Well, times are tough, kid,” or, “I had it rougher way back when.” It should go without saying that it’s better to be an un/under-employed 18-24 year-old in 2011 than it was back in, say, 1971 or 1941 (and all my respect to those who were, and served, back then).

Matthew’s questions and observations deserve thoughtful consideration. If we’re regular readers of this blog, that means we are either educators or are directly affected by our education programs (as students, parents, administrators, etc.). We’re the ones, for the most part, perpetuating the higher education equals better opportunities message. There’s still truth in that message, but it’s not the simple truth it once was. Our colleges/universities do need to take a firmer view of addressing a changing global job market in relations to the programs we offer. Our high schools and legislators need to re-examine the contention that all students should attend college and should seriously investigate re-invigorating vocational technology programs. We should, as well, stop pretending that technical colleges should be equivilent to colleges/universities and, rather, embrace the important and distinct qualities they bring to their students and the broader society.

For those who are so quick to paint Mr. Klein and the recent graduates he describes as spoiled or entitled, I remind you that they are not asking for handouts; they are asking for jobs. They don’t want a free ride; they want to work.

JCoach

March 22nd, 2011
9:26 am

Students need to create their own projects and jobs and stop depending on someone else hiring to hire them. Today’s kids need to be taught that they need to have multiple streams of income doing contract work, having their own businesses, etc. Maybe once the adults “get” this, the kids will as well.

Toto

March 22nd, 2011
9:28 am

Black and White Smiley Faces ☺☻

March 22nd, 2011
9:28 am

One does not get a degree in “Literature”, Basketweaving, or “Communications” if one wants to really compete in the job market.

I got a degree in engineering. Now I get interviews & opportunities. Life is good. :)

Black and White Smiley Faces ☺☻

March 22nd, 2011
9:31 am

It is now virtually impossible to work a full time job while in school that makes a dent in college expenses and tuition.

This is quite true. However people do not often to have a sense of reality when considering how big the costs for tuition, fees, books, and more are. Especially when you’re enrolled in a difficult major.

lab rat

March 22nd, 2011
9:35 am

If you like using science, not just learning it, consider becoming a medical technologist or medical technician. A technologist has a 4 yr degree in microbiology, biology, chemistry or the like plus 12-14 months of specialized training at an acredited program. A technician has a 2 yr degree. No one knows what we do and most of the current workers are reaching retirement age. We work in hospitals, clinics, government, and law inforcement– behind the scenes. Stable work, decent pay. I can live with that.

lab rat

March 22nd, 2011
9:37 am

ok, I can’t spell. forgive me.

Georgia Teacher

March 22nd, 2011
9:41 am

@Black and White Smiley: Actually, Communication is a decently lucrative field. There are not a ton of opportunites, but they are out there. Literature, on the other hand, I completely agree with.

The reality of the situation: There are too many Baby Boomers still in the workplace. Add in the fact more people are getting college degrees versus technical education and, suddenly, you have a lot of people with expensive educations that cannot find jobs while trade skill jobs still can’t find enough quality trainees.

Also, bear in mind that the greater Metro Atlanta area (including Athens) produces in excess of 250,000 college graduates per year. Exactly how many of those folks leave the Atlanta area?

Until the average age of the workforce balances out, either through retirement or death, younger college graduates in non-technical fields will continue to have a hard time finding a job. It is simple economics: the supply is greater than the demand.

Patrick Crabtree

March 22nd, 2011
9:51 am

Everyone is blaming the graduates for ‘expecting’ a job, yet all that is driven into them in school is “you have to pass tests,” “you have to go to college,” and we “are producing a nation who is not prepare.” Eli and Edythe Broad was quoted as saying businesses were going abroad for skilled labor. Beverly Hall and the APS board sold us this bill of goods and did away with vocational ed, which would produce a job. A shortage of good carpenters, mechanics, and laborers have allowed them to charge over $50 an hour, more than college grads. Wonder why boys are dropping out? It just may be their interests are not white collar jobs, they are hands on and physical. Not everyone is college material. Lets stop the madness!

Me

March 22nd, 2011
10:05 am

@Cue – you are absolutely accurate!

atlmom

March 22nd, 2011
10:09 am

@FCS Teacher: AMEN!!!!

Cut them a break

March 22nd, 2011
10:09 am

When I graduated college, the job prospects were a bit shallow as well, and I had to start my professional life on the lower-rungs of the corporate ladder. That being said, I think these kids will have difficulty even finding “lower-rung” jobs for the forseeable future. They have a right to be a bit disgruntled after spending thousands of dollars on a college education.

Patrick Crabtree

March 22nd, 2011
10:11 am

@ Fled. Baloney! The reason why our workers will not work cheap is the free market interprise. When there is a demand the prices rise. Economics 101. The reason that people work cheaper abroad is that comunist countries will NOT allow them to work for more. Modern democracies in Europe demand high wages, also. Can we say Germany???? Stop spreading half truths!

How about this?

March 22nd, 2011
10:14 am

I graduated college in 1981, THE WORST YEAR for college graduates in US history, with two degrees in economics and soil science. I waited a full year before finding a job in my field, and worked at what I could get in the meantime, lived at home, and kept working on my resume and my skill set.

Stop whining, Class of 2011! You are not guaranteed a job just because you have a college degree (especially if you drank you way through school and pulled a C or C- average), but you sure as Hades won’t find a “career” job without one unless you get a good technical degree (plumbing, contracting, nurse assistant, etc.).

In my current job, I am supposed to train kids who have masters’ graduate degrees (and no skills) to do economic research. I have been told that “this generation expects you to sit down and do the work with them, to show them hands on how to do things.” What I found is that this means, “do the work for them” and over and over I see them attempting to manipulate soft-hearted coworkers to “help” them with the hard work of collecting, inputting, and analyzing data. These youngsters, you see, have only refined essay writing and test taking skills, and unfortunately, have no interest in learning anything else. As others have pointed out, these kids think that college was the end of the road and now they just sit back and collect their due.

To Patrick Crabtree. I think everyone who has ever gone to college post 1955 was told that passing tests was the most important thing. But most of us looked at the real world and saw that employers weren’t just waiting with open arms for us to grace them with our presence.

Just A Teacher

March 22nd, 2011
10:16 am

I wonder if these young people have considered relocating. After I graduated from high school during the Carter administration, I couldn’t find a good job in my hometown. I left, came to Georgia, and found greater opportunities.

I know it is difficult to move away from Mom and Dad, but you are adults now, so consider moving in order to get your careers on track. I moved nearly 1000 miles away from my parents when I was 21, and it was the best thing I could have done.

HS Public Teacher

March 22nd, 2011
10:32 am

There are real reasons for this happening….

1. Colleges today seem to be accepting everyone and anyone. I see high school students that have a 2.0 gpa get into some college. This is just ridiculous.
2. Many students chose un-marketable majors. They pick things they ‘like’ rather than think rationally about what major will help them find a job. Pragmatic anyone?
3. Many students with a degree are not educated. They go to low-class colleges that are nothing but degree mills and think that because they paid the money (tuition) that they are now educated? Um, no – it doesn’t work like that.

Fix those 3 problems and this issue goes away.

Lynx

March 22nd, 2011
10:32 am

In the 15 years I was on faculty at UGA, there was a vast change in degree intentions of students. About 40% of all the students I had contact with were aiming to go to law school, and had little interest in selecting an undergraduate major that might itself lead to a career. Not that every degree in itself has to be a career starter, but even philosophy majors can parlay their skills if they are smart. I know a Philosophy major graduating this year who is interning for William Morris, the talent agency in Hollywood, and has been offered a job.

I don’t think many students have done internships, which, though unpaid, can really be the entry contact needed to get a paid position in the field. Instead, I saw lots of kids loading up on “Study Abroad” credits, which were mainly middle class eco-tourism or art-tourism and did little to build skill set or promote international cultural awareness (getting drunk or hooked up with other college students doesn’t count, as a number of students told me was what they remembered from their “study”, along with the scenery). Companies won’t hire you because of your international “experience” unless you work abroad.

One option not mentioned by current grads is public service. AmeriCorps, FoodCorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America all offer great JOB experience along with social benefits. Paid internships with the Federal government go begging because students won’t leave Georgia. Funny, the class of 2011 turns to MORE school rather than less-than-market value job experience when they are desperate.

Dr NO...

March 22nd, 2011
10:50 am

Mark

March 22nd, 2011
8:50 am

Cry me a river…you sound spoiled.

Dr NO...

March 22nd, 2011
10:53 am

Bush era unemployment… < 5%.
ObaManure era unemployment… between 9% and 10%.