Economy Worries New College Grads

Economy Worries New College Grads

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Print — The poor state of the nation’s economy, which has significantly affected the state of the job market over the past several years, is giving chills to new college graduates as thousands face the real world this spring.

Fresh out of school, a new pool of people plan to enter the work force. But, is the work force ready and willing to add even more people to the already large group of Americans looking for jobs? Should students be worried that they will not be able to find adequate employment or any employment at all?
Carol Dudley, director of career development at Howard University feels that worry should play a part in the minds of graduating seniors.

“Students should always be worried about getting jobs regardless of what the economy is like,” she said. “Should ... students be especially concerned right now? Yes ... I don’t feel that they understand totally ... how bad the economy is.”

This statement, however, differs from findings of a recent survey released by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. According to the survey, employers have recently grown to be more adamant about hiring new graduates of the class of 2011.

The survey also indicated an increase in projected hiring numbers from Sept. 2010 to April 2011. In September, employers anticipated hiring 13.5 percent more graduates coming from the class of 2011 than the graduates of 2010. Now, the number has jumped to 19.3 percent.

But regardless of what numbers say, anxiety and nervousness still play a role in some graduating seniors’ lives. Katie Derhim, a senior at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., is one of those seniors. “I know not a lot of people are hiring right now so I’m nervous there will not be anything available,” Derhim said.

Derhim’s classmate, Jenna Ferlise, shares some of the same concerns. “I’m nervous about getting a job [after] graduation. There [are] just not really a lot of jobs. I feel like you ... [only] get one if you know somebody,” said Ferlise.

According to the Department of Labor, the jobless rate for new graduates averaged 9.3 percent in 2010. For older graduates, this doubles.

Where have all these jobs gone? Simply blaming the economy is not enough for people like Illinois Democrat Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Speaking on the House floor, he recently offered his reasoning about why the job market is so bad. According to Jackson, new gadgets like the Apple iPad and Amazon’s Kindle have destroyed the book industry by putting major chain stores like Borders out of business; thus, adding to the number of lost jobs in the nation.

According to the U.S Commerce Department, shipping jobs oversees has led to a huge decrease in jobs here in America. Records say American multinational companies, that employ one-fifth of total Americans employed, have decreased the number of American workers in recent years. During the 2000s 2.9 million American workers were let go, while 2.4 million workers were hired overseas.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, after hitting an all-time low during the recession, the amount of new college students being hired is expected increase this year. This could be the reason why Georgetown senior Chris Kelley is not worried about his post-graduation plans. He already has them set in stone.

“I am going to be working on a training floor at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Stanford, Conn.,” said Kelley.

He then gave this advice: “Be assertive. Be yourself. Don’t sell out. Do something you want to do.”
Advice for college seniors does not seem to be hard to come by. Howard's Carol Dudley said, “Begin first making the intellectual shift. Begin to think: ‘I am a professional person, I’m no longer a just a student ... I am a student transforming into a professional.’ So when that individual begins the job search ... the type of cover letter that’s being submitted to HR professionals ... becomes that of a person who is ... bringing a set of skills to a professional team working on a common goal of the organization.”