Talking Futures

Temple students deserve to know the reality of job markets before they graduate.

Congress approved to spend at least $700 billion in a bailout to aid certain financial institutions last week.

That money comes from the taxpayers. People like you, your parents and your friends are literally paying for the mistakes of others.

The unemployment rate is increasing as the stock market begins to stumble. America is facing hard times from Wall Street to Main Street and every street in between. People who once had job security are desperately trying to find ways to get by.

But one group is often overshadowed by the others in this economic crisis – the Class of 2009.

As The Temple News reports this week, many students about to graduate – particularly those in the business school – are worried about their futures in the business world before they’ve even entered it [“Stock market scares,” Kelly R. Fields, Oct. 7, 2008].

The financial crisis now has students second-guessing their choices of major and forces them to consider other options this late in their college careers.

It is the responsibility of professors to teach the practical skills it takes to succeed in their respective fields. With today’s economy, those skills might not be enough to compete in the job market. In our generation, we’ve never seen an economic situation quite like this.

It is important for professors in all Temple’s schools and colleges to discuss the financial crisis with students. It’s the duty of a place of higher education to prepare students for their post-graduation lives.

Our post-graduation lives today are not exactly what they could have been 10 years ago.
It’s a scary time for graduating seniors as May 14 approaches. But professors should not avoid the subject of a poor economy altogether.

Granted, professors may not have had experiences like that which we may soon experience as the job hunt begins. But they are available to offer advice and counsel to their students in terms of what employers are looking for and what makes an applicant more qualified in a competitive job market.

In a time like this, professors should openly address the financial issue with students and not pretend as if everything will be OK. For at least a few months, everything likely won’t be.

By May 14, we’re expected to walk off the graduation stage complete with the knowledge and experience needed to enter the so-called “real world.”

That might not be enough. And while we don’t expect Ben Bernanke to give a guest lecture providing comforting words, at least discuss the truths you know so students have a fighting chance.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.