What More Do You Need from Me?: The Horrors of the Job Market for College Students

Ma’Kayla Hunter
Staff Writer

PC: Amtec Photos

According to a study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, nearly half of newly graduates are underemployed. To clarify, this means that individuals who have dedicated nearly four years to gain an education have to settle for positions that don’t hold the requirement of having a bachelor’s degree. As a college student, this is very unsettling because of the time and effort that has been put in to attending college. One of the main reasons that individuals attend college are to expand their career opportunities. However, it has been proven that education isn’t always enough to secure a position within your field.

So the question now becomes, “What more is needed in order to obtain a job of the correct caliber?” In shorthand, the other key piece needed is experience. Actually, certain jobs will be more willing to hire someone that has no collegiate experience but ample work experience. This can be devastating to the college student when realizing that education often doesn’t substitute for experience. However, what officially seals the deal of this horror is trying to find methods to obtain this experience.

When it comes to experience, everyone initially begins with no experience. As noted before, jobs rely heavily on finding candidates who do have some form of experience for the durations of at least a year. Therefore, we face another issue of trying to gain experience from a profession that already expects you to have this experience. Because of this, we run into a constant cycle of failing to meet requirements and lacking the opportunities to expand a candidates expertise.

In this situation, college students struggle immensely in trying to overcome this issue. As personal testimony, I have seen countless job posts that require some variation of education and experience but are more lenient if you have past prior work experience connected to that position. Though it has caused me constant frustration, it doesn’t change the fact that these requirements are quite common.

In order to find ways around such hindrances, students have become resourceful and strategic within the job market. For example, take advantage of student resources and jobs that connect to with your school. These companies are more willing to accept you because of their knowledge on your history of being a student, and more than likely lacking in experience. Resources such as job fairs hosted by the school and career services can benefit you with connecting to professional resources. Volunteering and completing workshops within your field can also serve as forms of experience that employers will be willing to consider. It is important to remember that effort counts and some experience is better than none.

With such challenges within the job market, the most important thing to remember is that everything has a process. Positive results do not happen based on your strong desire. If everyone got a job when they wanted it, no one would be unemployed. Instead, don’t take rejection or delays personal, but more so with a grain of salt. Though this experience is trying, success will be inevitable, and greatly appreciated once reached!

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