First comes college, then comes career? Well that is the hope for almost every college student. Whether it takes four years, more than four or (if you’re lucky) it takes less than four, either way college is a demanding process, and no student will say it didn’t take some overcoming.
Along the way it is easy to forget about the end goal or forget about what is going to happen after you finish, but as you creep up on the finish line those thoughts come rushing to the front of your head. After you graduate, or before you even order your cap and gown, coming up with a plan to find your next job becomes very important.
According to a study done by the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate was 8.5 percent for 2014 college graduates, compared to 5.5 percent in 2007. This is compared to the same study done for high school graduates where the unemployment rate was 22.9 percent, compared to 15.9 percent in 2007.
It’s true, graduating college does give you a leg up from high school graduates, but there is still the very real possibility of being unemployed.
“I started looking for jobs before I graduated which is a smart thing to do. Although when I wasn’t getting any responses I decided the format of my resume could improve,” said Kristiana Bell, 22, an arts and entertainment major. “Now I alter my resume for each job that I apply to, so I can match the skills and experiences that I have with what the employer is looking for, according to the job description. I also believe following up with employers can sometimes give you that additional leg up.”
Bell uses the strategies of staying prepared, precise and persistent.
According to Agglomeration and Job Matching among College Graduates by Jaison R. Able and Richard Dietz, of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, only about 62 percent of college graduates who graduate with a bachelors degree get their first job in a position that requires a college degree, and only 27 percent of graduates get a job that is closely related to their major.
Finding a job may be easier said than done, but another potential obstacle is finding a job that fits your degree.
“The summer after I graduated, I hit the job hunt hard. I found out quickly that getting a job in your desired field is tough, especially being fresh out of school. If you are looking for a job in your field above entry-level positions, then key internships pertaining to your field will greatly help,” said Adam Goricki, 22, a communications major and 2015 Western Michigan University graduate.
“I started looking for jobs at start of my senior year. I would rather have an idea of what I could possibly turn into a career then wait untill the last minute. I attended many career fairs and they have opened up doors, and opportunities for me. I feel like utilizing your resources is the most beneficial way to be on top of finding a job,” said Devine Carson, 21, a psychology and criminal justice major and upcoming 2016 Michigan State graduate.
Carson believes that staying proactive is the way to beat the real life meltdown that comes after graduation.