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Old 08-21-2009, 11:38 AM   #1
Potemkin
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Default Class of '09: Get a job

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“The days of kids coming out of college with liberal arts degrees that want to make $50,000 to $60,000 or even $40,000 to $45,000” are over, Gimbel said.

For class of 2009, degree doesn’t mean a job
Fewer than a fifth of graduating seniors even have offers, research finds
By Alex Johnson
Reporter
msnbc.com
updated 6:16 a.m. CT, Fri., Aug 21, 2009

Matt Dumont has been looking for work since May.

“I’ve had a couple times that I was told that I was one of the top applicants, went in for an interview, and then I just never heard back from them,” said Dumont, who graduated last spring from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a degree in English and minors in Spanish and the Bible.

Dumont was haunting the college’s Career Center last week, looking for leads and advice. But the prospects are not promising for him and thousands of other new college graduates: Employment counselors and job placement specialists say the class of 2009 faces a daunting task finding work in the worst economy since the Great Depression.

Labor statistics for July showed that 15.3 percent of Americans ages 20 to 24 were unemployed, up a tenth of a percentage point from June. That’s compared to the overall jobless rate of 9.4 percent.

Those figures don’t indicate how many were recent college graduates, but surveys by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a professional organization of career counselors at more than 2,000 U.S. colleges and universities, show that the recession has been particularly tough on those entering the job market with a college degree.

More than half of graduates in the class of 2007 had job offers in hand when they finished school, the association said. That figure dropped to one-quarter of 2008 graduates — after the recession began in December 2007 — and for the class of 2009, it was fewer than one-fifth.

Graduates ‘frustrated,’ ‘scared’
Projections for the class of 2010 won’t be final until the fall, but the association said the picture next spring was likely to be even worse.

It’s no surprise, then, that this year’s graduates are “frustrated” and “scared,” said Peter Perkins, director of career services at the State University of New York Institute of Technology in Utica, N.Y.

“They’ve been searching and haven’t found anything and aren’t sure when that’s going to turn around,” he said.

In an annual survey of college seniors released last month by Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, this year’s graduating seniors were markedly more pessimistic about their job prospects than in years past.

Charles Wilf, the Duquesne economist who conducted the research, said only 45 percent of respondents in the national study felt “good or very good” about their chances of getting a job — down by 20 full percentage points from last year’s class.

Public service looks better and better
That’s because top graduates aren’t competing only with the top performers of their own class, said Zeidy Cabrera, employer relations coordinator at California State University at Los Angeles. They’re also battling for fewer available jobs against millions of experienced workers who’ve been laid off.

As a result, more graduates are looking at alternatives to going to work.

“I have a lot of friends who are either moving abroad or trying to find different things, because with the recession, people can’t find jobs,” said Sydney Owens, who graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia in May.

Owens herself took an internship for the summer and then was heading off to Africa — “I’m going to Tanzania to volunteer,” she said.

Volunteering and public service programs are turning out to be popular options, and they’re reporting a significant spike in applications from graduates.

Applications for the Peace Corps were up by 16 percent this spring over last year, the agency reported; likewise, applications for AmeriCorps, the domestic analogue to the Peace Corps, have more than tripled from 2008, it said. Most of the applicants were recent college graduates or college seniors about to graduate.

At Teach for America, which places top graduates in two-year entry-level teaching jobs, 35,000 young people — more than two-thirds of them recent college graduates — applied for roughly 4,000 available positions for the coming school year. For the first time in its 20-year history, it said, the program had to reject prospects who met all of its rigorous criteria.

“The economy probably does have something to do with it,” said Gary Beaulieu, director of career services at Butler University in Indianapolis. “Students are looking for something to do, kind of delaying the entrance into the workforce.”

And while most public service applicants are sincere about wanting to give back to the community, Beaulieu said, it doesn’t hurt that “it looks good on a résumé, as well.”

Some seniors cling to alma mater
Others are postponing their careers in another way, choosing to extend the security of college life until bad times blow over.

In a survey of college students by The Associated Press and the college TV network mtvU, nearly 1 in 5 said in May that they had changed their plans this year and expected to attend graduate or professional school because they feared that an undergraduate degree wouldn’t be enough to secure a job.

Final data aren’t yet available, but the Council of Graduate Schools reported that applications for graduate schools were noticeably up this year, by as much as 20 percent at some institutions.

Meanwhile, Kaplan Inc., which helps students study for graduate school admissions exams, found that 40 percent of students who took the Law School Admissions Test in February said the recession was a factor in their decisions to apply to law school.

“Recessions often inspire people to look to law school to ride out the storm, transition into a new field or broaden their education to make themselves a more attractive candidate,” said Jeff Thomas, the company’s director of pre-law programs.

For top graduates, bitter advice
For those who can’t afford to put off going to work, college career centers are popular places. But Cabrera, the adviser at Cal State-Los Angeles, said there was only so much help counselors could offer.

“All we can do right now is give them hope, give them job leads, give them advice on their résumés,” she said.

Often, that advice isn’t necessarily what students want to hear, said Tom Gimbel, chief executive of the LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting firm in Chicago. Even top performers face the prospect of taking jobs far less glamorous than they had envisioned.

“The days of kids coming out of college with liberal arts degrees that want to make $50,000 to $60,000 or even $40,000 to $45,000” are over, Gimbel said.

“You have to start at the bottom,” he said, “We’re kind of back to the ’50s and the ’60s — start in the mailroom and work your way up.”


URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32468172/
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:29 PM   #2
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Often, that advice isn’t necessarily what students want to hear, said Tom Gimbel, chief executive of the LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting firm in Chicago. Even top performers face the prospect of taking jobs far less glamorous than they had envisioned.

“The days of kids coming out of college with liberal arts degrees that want to make $50,000 to $60,000 or even $40,000 to $45,000” are over, Gimbel said.
Liberal Arts and English majors just need to practice the key entry line to the job market they qualify for....

"you want fries with that ?"

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Old 08-21-2009, 01:08 PM   #3
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I waited tables after college. It was a good job at the time and I made good money. I guess some people expect a corner office with a view right out of college.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Steel Magnolia View Post
I waited tables after college. It was a good job at the time and I made good money. I guess some people expect a corner office with a view right out of college.
The kids do these days, along with the million $$$ McMansion via an Alt-A arm, and the new Audi A4 on lease.

"OMG, you mean you have to actually EARN something ?! They don't just give it to you by
being in class 65% of the time ?"

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Old 08-21-2009, 01:25 PM   #5
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Go home to your folks, take an evening and weekend job waiting tables, etc., and work during the day for free as an intern at some place you want a real job in a few years. And, stop whining! It wasn't exactly a bed of roses when my wife and I came out of college in 91/92.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:03 AM   #6
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Of course there are always those millions of security guard jobs...
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:40 AM   #7
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Pot uses a term I like to described many among the younger generation: "snowflakes". It's apt as many of them metl down at the least sign of effort required or expectations not instantly being gratified. Many never had to work through school - they were promote ahead & sadly in many colleges, that trend is expanding. Standards are dropping - anything to keep paying butts in seats.

A general degree today isn't going to get you very far. The kids I see doing really well are those taking practical associate degrees - some right along with more traditional 'HIGHER education' degrees. More of these kids are succesfully finding jobs after school & many are continuing classes as they begin their working life. That's nothing new to we old farst but for many of today's kids, it's a tough concept. Apprenticeships are also a good ticket. A young lady on my floor is currently studying for her welding ticket, another in the building is working on carpentry. Both are finding no shortage of work hours on top of the required class time.

My SD was lucky enough to get hired immediately - before she was finishes chool in fact. Many of her peers, whe they didn't get the first few jobs they applied for, walked away puzzled... & gave up. They don't want to return to school for something more practical, won't accept being underemployed... their loss.

Times change, economies change. You'd think the young would be more adaptable to chaning conditions. Sadly, too many aren't.
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:28 AM   #8
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"Snowflakes"...I love it!

My nephew is one of those liberal free spirits who talks big but never follows through. Knowing he didn't have the motivation to finish college, I suggested he go to trade school. He's very intelligent and clever. He would do great, but my family completely shunned my suggestion, stating that "all the children in this family go to college". What a bunch of elitist baloney!

Yah..and here we are, 10 years after he graduated high school and he has dropped out of college 4 times now, owes student loan debt which I'm certain he's defaulting on, and has no reliable income.

Oh yeah, and he helped campaign for Obama. Seems to have gotten him nowhere.
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:45 PM   #9
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That many young people can't find good paying jobs in a bad recession is news how?

I know it's difficult for some but being adaptable is a big part of being successful.

My daughter graduated with an art degree and wouldn't have a problem working minimum wage jobs if need be. She has had jobs from Labrador to Chile to Alaska doing some pretty odd stuff.

She went to Ireland a while ago to relax and is staying to apprentice with an old time stone mason that she met. She lives in a tent and works for food and little else. She fell in love with the stone work of Ireland and is learning that craft while photographing and painting the entire country along with the stone work. She has already sold many photographs.

"Life is like a river. You have to go where the force of nature takes you" is her motto.
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