College graduation; a time of celebration, achievement and launching into the future! In the past this has been the general theme of college graduation but over the past several years our college graduates are launching into a very different employment climate.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the unemployment rate for those under 25 is typically at least twice the national average. The Great Recession of 2007 can be blamed for this current environment.
Although the recession is considered to have officially ended in 2009, the ripple effects have been far reaching. Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University finds hiring for bachelor’s degrees this year is up 7%. The research institute calls the 3% overall growth in the college labor market “modest.”
The long lasting consequences of the Great Recession are indicated in those who graduated college before the recession as they are staying put in their entry-level positions and subsequently hinder new graduates from getting their chance to enter into the workforce and work their way up. Older workers are remaining in their jobs or cannot retire due to the impact the recession had on their own savings.
The current job market results in graduates having no other choice but to take jobs they’re overqualified for, jobs outside their profession, and ultimately postpone their career negatively impacting at least a decade’s worth of unearned wages. And what about those student loans?
How parents can help:
• Keep it real. Explain the reality of the workforce environment. Don’t be discouraging but prepare them.
• Educate them as to how they can stand out in the job market. Recruiters tend to look for “strong digital brands”. This means have a professional-looking personal Web page. Use the site to blog about the industry they aspire to join, showcase their resume, discuss their work and academic achievements.
• Young workers are used to doing everything online thus underestimating the power of in-person networking. Tell them to join their professional organizations and the Chamber of Commerce etc.
• Begin building a professional relationship by utilizing sites such as LinkedIn.
• While still in college encourage them to work in whatever capacity they can in the professional arena they hope to one day be a part of. Perhaps even volunteer if they can’t get hired. Sometimes all our graduates need is a foot in the door. Why not get a head start?
• Remind your new graduate that high unemployment rates for young workers following a recession is to be expected and DOES rebound.
• If your child does work through college suggest they save as much as possible; having a small savings can help buffer them during their job search.
• Help them talk to their bank to defer their student loans if necessary.
It’s never easy to work for a college degree only to feel as though it was wasted. Don’t let your children go there! Remind them their perseverance will pay off and when they do land a job in their profession it will only be that much sweeter!