job market

Should Students Go to Community Colleges to Get Jobs?

rows of students in a lecture hallThere are several problems with the American higher education system. For example, a higher education is expensive and many students graduate owing thousands of dollars in debt. Also, some colleges are very selective and students cannot go to these schools, even if they want to. However, when Michael Bettersworth, an associate vice chancellor at the Texas State Technical College System, was asked what the biggest problem was, he pointed out a problem that does not usually come to mind.

“Houston, we have a problem, and it’s not that too few people are going to college,” he said. “It’s that too many people are getting degrees with limited value in the job market.”

Oh, yeah, that’s a problem that definitely had not popped to the front of my mind. However, when you think about it, it does make sense. There are many people who choose to study a subject that does not directly prepare them for a job. For example, I have a friend who studied philosophy at a very prestigious school. After graduation, he could not find a job and ended up working as a restaurant manager.

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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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What’s Your Bachelor’s Degree Worth?

degree worthYou probably thought that earning a bachelor’s degree meant making more money. But with the current challenging job market, recent graduates aren’t receiving the starting salaries that they probably expected.

But there’s still hope on the horizon. Although starting salaries had been on a downhill slope, they are starting to stabilize.

2010 graduates’ average starting salary is $48,288, according to a survey organized by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, also known as NACE. While that’s 0.7 percent down from last year’s average starting salary, Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director, said that the decline appears to be leveling off. Read the rest of this entry »



How to Nail a Job Interview

handshakeIn today’s job climate, it can take applying to over 50 or more jobs before you land one interview. With such a drastic shortage of jobs, it’s very important to make the most of each and every interview opportunity you might receive.

There are so many people out of work that an interview is really your only chance to stand out, make a great first impression, and highlight your skills. Below are some tips to do just that, and hopefully land your dream job.

Know your resume: Make sure your resume is tailored to match the job description you’re applying for and you know it inside and out. The interviewer will likely ask you questions based directly on what your resume says, so it would be in your best interest to be ready to discuss anything on it.

Be honest: Answer every question honestly. If you’re unsure of an answer or don’t have direct experience in an area the interviewer is asking about, say so. If you are unsure about a question, make a point to mention that you are willing to learn or be trained in that particular area. It will go over much better than lying and being found out later in the interview. Read the rest of this entry »



Top 10 Locations to Find a Job After Graduation

Image vie Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau

Image vie Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau

The job market is still a dismal place for college graduates. True, the unemployment rate has not risen past ten percent yet, but that is partly because many people have given up on their job hunt, causing the labor force to shrink. According to Business Week, the labor force decreased by almost 700,000 people  in December 2010. If it had not, the unemployment rate was expected to be 10.4 percent.

What can college grads do to find a job in this tough market? Part of the equation could be moving to a city that is actually hiring people and creating new jobs. What makes these cities the top cities to find a job in 2010?

There are certain locations that have advantages in terms of lower costs, improved access to talent, certain key industry resources, and other factors that help to drive things,” said Kevin Klowden, co-author of the Best-Performing Cities 2009 report.

So where should you move to up your chances of finding a job? Interestingly enough, four of the top ten are in Texas. But if slipping on your cowboy boots every day doesn’t appeal to you, check out the other six options.

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Five Highest Paying Bachelor’s Degrees

graduation cap and diplomaIn today’s competitive job market, no one can argue the necessity of having your bachelor’s degree. But the question is: in which field should you get that degree to get the biggest paycheck?

Engineering and math-related jobs seem to offer the highest salaries, particularly with the demand for these jobs increasing faster than the number of graduates. If you’re hoping for a job that will “show you the money,” you may want to consider these top-earning degrees from the Payscale College Salary Report:

Environmental Engineering

Engineering degrees count for seven of the top ten on Payscale’s list of best undergrad degrees for top salary. Engineers use their analytical and scientific knowledge to develop products and solve problems. Read the rest of this entry »



Earning Potential for Class of 2009 Graduates

There are a still a few bright spots in the job hunt for the Class of 2009!

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. Read the rest of this entry »



25 Companies Hiring College Graduates This Summer

Let’s face facts; the current state of the U.S. economy is putting a damper on your college graduation. I know, I know… I just brought up the elephant in the room. I’m sorry,  but I did it because I am here to help. college-graduates

Careerbuilder recently published their 2009 Annual College Job Forecast. Despite all the gloom and doom stories about the job market, this year’s crop of graduates have something to look forward to. According to the report, 43 percent of employers are planning to hire recent college graduates this year. This number is down from past years, yet it is still a high percentage given our current situation.  Now, I know what you are thinking; where can I find out which companies are hiring? I have anticipated this thought and have included THE list; THE list being 25 companies that are actively hiring recent college graduates this year. You’re welcome.  Read the rest of this entry »



College Grads Facing Worst Job Market

hiring-statisticsA fresh batch of college grads are ready to leave campus next month, but they won’t find many ‘now hiring’ signs in office windows. In a survey from the NACE, employers are hiring 22 percent less graduates this Spring, news that won’t be comforting for those with fresh diplomas.

Students are nevertheless hitting the job trail, selling themselves as best they can, but more and more turning to their plans B, C or D. Some are saying this forces college grads to wake-up to reality and learn that there is no job entitlement just because you spent the past four years studying. Another striking statistic is that most grads will have three jobs in five years, so the voracious job hunting skills they develop now only stand to benefit them down the road. Read the rest of this entry »