Friday, October 12, 2012

Challenging Job Market Awaits College Graduates

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03:  A representative from ...
A representative from Time Warner Cable takes job applications at a job fair sponsored by State Senator Jose R. Peralta and Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities on May 3, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
by Lisa Marie Smyth

Today's college graduates are excitedly entering the job market only to find their high hopes deflated by an influx of candidates and a decrease of available opportunities.

Once the parties end and the diplomas have been framed, these same 20-somethings who were once confident in their chosen field of study now must find a way to make their education profitable in the wake of owed rent and student loans.

It's just these same issues that have many high school seniors considering the value of a college education, when weighing the pros and cons of a post-secondary degree.

For high school seniors banking on a college scholarship, reality is harsh with new proposed legislation which will limit certain scholarship candidates to those planning a course of study in the STEM industries - science, technology, engineering, and math.

These same proponents of the legislation assert that fields such as the humanities have limited job offerings in today's society, and therefore, do not validate the cost of a scholarship. Evidence in favor of the scholarship limitations shows the STEM industries continually expanding, and requiring a constant influx of college graduates to fill the various available positions.

Statistics from The New York Times show that an average salary for college graduates as recently as 2010 was only $27,000, a decrease of $3,000 from two years prior. Analysts attribute this data as one reason so many college graduates are working in jobs outside their major - in order to pay their bills while still searching for an available position in their field.

It's the rare college student that attends a university for personal edification or as a hobby. Most, if not all, are looking for their what-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up job, assuming it's ready and available for the taking, with only a college degree to be used as currency in trade.

Often, disappointed college graduates opt not to take a minimum-wage position to simply get by, but rather, choose to continue in post-graduate studies. The assumption being that the extra time and money will pay off by creating more opportunities for people with advanced degrees.

Unfortunately, it's a limited percentage of these people who find what they are looking for, while the rest continue to accrue interest on loans that were already much too high.

Ultimately, it seems in the current job market, the best option for students considering a college education is to opt for a major in patience.

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