The Class of 2009 knows that finding a job in this market will be a difficult task. They have been watching the job market disintegrate since the U.S. entered the recession.
According to a new study by the National Association of College and Employers, fewer than one in five graduates who are looking for jobs have found one; employers are planning to hire 22 percent fewer graduates than they did in 2008. This is very discouraging news, and explains in part why fewer students are actively seeking jobs. This time last year, 67 percent of college grads had begun looking for a job. This year, only 59 percent have even begun looking.
“Whether they’ve decided to delay their careers because of the economy or don’t realize how tough the job market is, fewer grads have started job hunting,” said Andrea Koncz, employment information manager at NACE.
There is always a silver lining though. Students with a Bachelor’s degree are more likely to get a job than people who only have a high school education. Those with a Bachelor’s degree have an unemployment rate of only 6.1 percent; those with only a high school degree have an unemployment rate of 19.6 percent.
Another bright spot: Several industries, including transportation, utilities, and alternative energy are actually planning to hire more graduates this year than they did in 2008.
The average job offered to a 2009 graduate has a base salary of $48,515. For engineers, that salary can be closer to $60,000. However, for TV news reporters, the salary stays low at $25,500.
It is not impossible to get a high (enough) paying job in today’s market if you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in an applicable field. However, you will have to make the extra effort to secure a job offer.
“Students say all the time, ‘I submitted my resume online and I never heard back,'” said Eric Lochtefeld, founder of University of Dreams, an organization that helps students find internships. “The best advice that I can give to students is stop playing the numbers game. Things that worked 20 years ago before the Internet — direct contact, person-to-person networking — still work today.”