The Class of 2009 has just graduated college in many states. They have worked hard for about four or five years, spending countless hours in libraries, classes, and review sessions. And now, all of their hard work should start to pay off, in the form of a new career. Unfortunately, for more than 80 percent of recent college graduates, there is not a job offer waiting for them after they walk across that graduation stage.
A recent survey of employers on CareerBuilder.com showed that only 43 percent intended to hire new college graduates this year, compared to 79 percent in 2007. With hundreds of thousands of others graduating this year, it is no wonder that 60 percent of college students polled said they started actively looking for a job during their senior year of college.
“The days of deciding between three or four job offers before you even collect your degree are over, at least for the next year or two,” said job market consultant John Challenger. “You will have to find new ways to get in front of hiring authorities, look where other people are not and be willing to take jobs that most people would avoid.”
This year, the unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds topped 14 percent; it has not been this high in the past 25 years. Also, for those who are lucky enough to land a job in this difficult market, the starting salary has declined by over 3 percent since last year. I can not say that I am shocked that almost 25 percent of seniors are deciding to continue their education into graduate school. That plan of action is sounding more and more appealing to me as this financial recession deepens.