college graduates

Many Recent College Graduates Do Not Feel Pressured to Grow-Up and Settle Down

graduation hat and rolled up diplomaThere are several recognized life-stages that we must all go through in order to grow from childhood to adulthood. These include infancy, childhood, and adolescence. However, new research shows that recent college-graduates and their peers are actually still growing and maturing. This new life-stage is called “emerging adulthood” and it explains why many recent graduates do not seem to be in a rush to grow up.

In the past, students made the “transition to adulthood” by completing five milestones: finishing their education, leaving their parents’ home, gaining financial independence, getting married, and having a child. In 1960, about 71 percent of people had reached these milestones by age 30; in 2000, this number was only 38.5 percent for women and 21.7 percent for men.

So what does this mean for those of us who have recently graduated and are in our 20s? According to this new research, 20-somethings’ brains are still developing and they are also exploring their own identities. This can lead to instability and a feeling of being in-between adolescence and adulthood. However, this age group also has a new-found “sense of possibilities”  because they have so many options for what to do with their lives.

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More College Graduates are Filing Bankruptcy Now than Ever Before

Students go to college to learn more about the world around them, learn a trade or profession, and the end goal is to get a job that will allow them to pay the bills.

Unfortunately, with the job market in such a dismal state, this is not the reality that is awaiting many recent college graduates. Instead, they are graduating with more debt than ever before and, without a job to help them pay off their debts, many students are now seeking protection from their outstanding debts by declaring bankruptcy.

According to a survey released by the Institute for Financial Literacy, the percent of college graduates who have earned a bachelor’s degree and owe some sort of debt has increased from 11.2 percent in 2006 to 13.6 percent last year. Interestingly enough, the percentage of those who have not finished college or who only have a high school diploma and are in debt has decreased.

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USA Falling Behind in College Attainment Rates

Two years ago, President Obama announced plans to make the USA a leading country in the international education race by 2020. Many people were excited for this hope to become reality, but it seems like we might be slipping farther away from our goal.

According to a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, less Americans are completing their college education than young adults in other countries. This has made us fall from 12th to 16th place in the share of young adults (ages 25-34) who have earned a degree. The countries who are leading the race in this younger demographic are South Korea, Canada, and Japan.

Why is America slipping behind other countries in college attainment rates? There are two explanations for this. One is that more and more people are attending college in Asia and Europe than ever before. Another factor is that these foreign nations focus on education degrees that take less time to complete; instead of the four-year plans that many college in the USA follow, colleges in other countries offer many one-year or two-year degree plans.

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Is a Bachelor’s Degree Not Enough to Land a Job?

As a recent college graduate, I can relate to William Klein. Klein recently graduated from the College at Brockport, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. Shortly after graduating, Klein moved back in with his parents and returned to his high school job, serving tables for $7.25/hour. It’s not that Klein did not look for another job or that he didn’t apply for these jobs. The problem is that these employers did not think that Klein had enough education and needed to get a master’s degree before they would consider hiring him.

Long gone are the days when a bachelor’s degree was enough education to get your foot in the door at a prestigious job. Instead, the master’s degree has become the newest ticket you will need to ride the ride.

Some are calling this new trend credential inflation, but whatever you call it, there is no denying the fact that more and more people are pursuing a master’s degree in order to get a job. In 2009, 657,000 master’s degrees were awarded; this number has doubled since the 1980s and has increased even more substantially in the past few years.

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YourEmployment.com is the Ultimate Job Search Website for Recent College Graduates

As a recent college graduate, I can tell you that the whole finding-a-job process is difficult, exhausting, and discouraging. You can cruise websites like Monster.com, read your local classified ads, and network to your heart’s content, but you still might not find the right job, even though you have spent hours searching. Luckily, a new website takes a lot of the legwork out of this process for you. Let me introduce you to YourEmployment.com.

YourEmployment.com is a free website that lists more than 500,000 jobs from more than 20,000 websites and job boards. YourEmployment.com has full time, part time, internships, and temporary positions available while also offering resources that you might need in order to make yourself a better candidate for jobs, such as information about pursuing a higher education.

Employers also use this website to list jobs that they currently have available. Employers either list directly on YourEmployment.com or the website searches it’s network of websites to find listings that are applicable and relevant for job-searchers.

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Graduates Go Abroad to Find Work

As a recent college graduate, I am here to tell you: the job market is dismal. Last year, workers ages 16-24 (a generation also known as the Millennials) faced an unemployment rate of 18.4 percent. This is the highest unemployment rate for this age group in the past 60 years. The U.S. Labor Department recently reported that there are four unemployed American for every one new job that becomes available. That’s some pretty tough competition, if you ask me.

So what should recent grads who want to start their careers do? One option is to move back in with Mom and Dad until things improve. In fact, 85 percent of recent graduates are doing just that. By living with their parents, Millennials can reduce their living expenses and focus on reducing the large amount of debt that they probably incurred during college.

Another option will take students far away from their parents’ house. I thought I was being somewhat unusual when I decided to look outside our nation’s boarders for a job, but evidently, that is one of the biggest trends among Millennials. Where are these ex-pats going to start their careers? Many are going to Asia, where they can teach English and learn about a culture that is very different from their own. Japan and South Korea are two very popular options, with high wages and low costs of living luring in many recent graduates.

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83-Year Old Widower Finds New Meaning in College Education

Fred Lutz participates in class

When we think of a college graduate, we often think of 20- or 30-somethings, who have yet to embark on their chosen career path. Fred Lutz is different from most graduates. At the age of 86, the WWII veteran became one of the oldest graduates to receive a diploma from Lake Forest College last Saturday.

His age isn’t the only thing that sets him apart from his fellow graduates. While most students want to go to college to make more money, or choose a career that requires a college education, Lutz did it because of his late wife, Virginia. She died after a long battle with diabetes in 2007, and he felt like his days were meaningless. His empty hours led him to take a couple of college courses at Lake Forrest.

“I know my Virginia is proud of me,” he said. “I’d like to think she had a hand in me getting back to class. I don’t want to sound too silly about that, but I think that she’s sort of watching over me and smiling, saying, ‘Good work.”‘

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More College Graduates Go Non-Profit

A noticeable trend in the workforce is developing, as college graduates gravitate towards non-profit work. The economic recession has limited corporate job openings, pushing degree holding young people into lesser paying positions. While the cause of this push is economically based, the reward of non-profit work is proving its worth to recent college grads.

Graduates who finished college prior to the current recession were more likely to work for large corporations, where it is estimated they will make 22 percent more money than those in non-profits. When jobs in the private sector became less available, grads began searching elsewhere. It is now estimated that college graduates working in non-profits have risen over 11 percent, and 16 percent for government positions.

Non-profit organizations are benefiting greatly from this trend. Graduates with business degrees began applying, sometimes hundreds at a time, for a single position. Applications for AmeriCorps and Teach for America have surged in the last two years. Organizations advocating for children, social justice, education, healthcare, etc., are now receiving an overwhelming amount of applications from America’s college graduates.

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Resume Keywords are the Newest Factor in the Job Search Process

I will graduate from college this year. As that deadline looms closer and closer, I have started to realize that I need to find a job. I have been to several interview workshops and had my resume proofread by countless advisers. However, I just learned something that nobody ever bothered to tell me: resumes need keywords.

Most employers prefer resumes that are sent via email. These emailed resumes are then scanned by an Applicant Tracking System (basically, a search engine for resumes). These programs pre-screen your resume to determine if you are a qualified candidate for the position or if the interviewer should look elsewhere for their next employee.

Here a few basic guidelines for properly using resume keywords to get yourself the job interview. Beyond that, it’s up to you to dazzle the interviewer.

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U.S. Economy Will Lose 300,000 College Graduates Every Year

cap and diplomaA recent study published by Georgetown University entitled Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018 spelled out some complicated news regarding the economy. It’s been estimated that the U.S. workforce will be short 300,000 college graduates every year until 2018.

There are a couple reasons for this predicament. The recession produced a shift from manual labor jobs to those requiring higher education degrees. Our unemployment rate is still a staggering 9.6 percent because there aren’t enough college graduates to fulfill the needs of the jobs that are available.  Read the rest of this entry »