The average college student’s mind is kept busy with thoughts of exams, all-nighters, term papers and dreams of graduating on time. However, after graduation new anxieties plague the ex-student’s mind. Worries about tuition bills and financial aid are replaced with anxieties over potential unemployment or even worse, working at a local fast food establishment wearing a hair net and dishing out one greasy hamburger after another.
But how hard could it possibly be to find that illustrious post-collegiate job? The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a report that stated there were 250,000 more graduates who entered the labor force each year between 1992 and 1996 than there were available college level jobs. In the same report, it was projected that between 1996 and 2006 the difference between college graduates and entry-level jobs would stay the same. This means that 18 percent of those graduates would not be able to find jobs.
According to the BLS, there were 33 million college graduates in the work force. Of those 33 million, 17 percent (approximately 5.6 million people) were working lower level jobs that did not require a college education.
Here at Temple, a survey was done by Career Development Services in 1997 that showed about 62 percent of those surveyed were working within their chosen field and only 21 percent were not. Of the 640 surveyed, four percent described themselves as being “Unemployed, seeking employment.”
One could ask what the use of higher education is, if it cannot ensure providing students with a job that doesn’t require wearing a plastic name badge. On the other hand, one could also ask how much should be left to the student to find a decent job.
Jobhunt.com advises students who are close to graduating to start the job search before graduation. The site also offers the practical advice of getting all the experience possible (such as internships or co-ops). The more experience a person has, as well as the more connections a person has, the more likely it is for a person to find a job. If the BLS is right, then the impending post-collegiate job search could be equated to a gauntlet, or one of those reality shows where only the fittest survive.
If you think about it, the job hunt is a lot like “Survivor” or any one of its clone-shows. Applicants are screened and rejected in masses until only a select few remain. Then, one by one, those who are left are singled out for their weaknesses, personality traits and/or political preference — until one is left standing with the prize — whether it be a million dollars or a coveted entry-level job.