Although a college degree is often viewed as the “ticket to a good job,” graduates today are facing a number of different challenges when it comes to employment. In fact, millennials make up 40% of the unemployed labor force in the United States. This is despite the fact that they are one of the best-educated generations of all time! Here are some of the top challenges facing graduate job seekers today.
Lack of experience
A college degree does not translate into useful work experience. This can be a major problem for recent college graduates who are applying to jobs. The reason is because many jobs require “at least one or two years of relevant experience.” In other words, having no relevant job experience is a hurdle that can be very difficult for recent graduates to get over.
Many companies prefer to hire college students or recent graduates for unpaid internships as opposed to actual jobs. While this can be helpful in the long run in terms of gaining experience, unpaid work is still unpaid work. These internships can frequently last for months, or even over a year, which is a very long time to go without getting paid.
Lack of jobs
In one survey of graduates who were trying to find their first job after college, 23 % said that a lack of jobs was the biggest challenge that they were facing. This reflects the fact that a college degree is not an automatic key to getting a job. In fact, a rising number of college graduates can actually make a college degree a less significant competitive differentiator.
Because a bachelor’s degree is not as impressive as it used to be too many employers, many college graduates are now faced with the choice of going to graduate school, or going straight into the workforce. This can be a very difficult choice to make!
The reason is because many college graduates are already saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt and graduate school often adds significantly more debt. It is also another one to four years without a paycheck potentially.
However, many college graduates graduate only to discover that their major did not provide them with marketable skills, and so feel compelled to go to grad school to improve their appeal on the job market.
Earning a decent income is very important for financial independence and stability. It is wise to be aware of all of these challenges so you can prepare for them. The better prepared you are, the better you will be able to handle them when you are trying to figure out how to find a job after college and are job seeking!