Entries in College (27)


College Grads May Be Using Wrong Tactics to Get Work

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Despite some improvement since last year, the jobs market is still weak and unemployment remains high.

Now, as millions of college graduates begin to enter the jobs market, some might want to rethink how they go about finding work.

Jobs coach Rafe Gomez says many well educated college grads have resume overconfidence, relying too much on the document's power.

"They believe that resumes should be a golden ticket to do anything -- they're wrong," says Gomez.

Instead, job seekers should focus more on proving they're worth hiring.

"They need to present themselves as a solution or a potential solution who can make the company money, save it money or improve its image in the marketplace," he says.

Grads can do this by preparing themselves and doing lots of research on the company with whom they're hoping to land a position.

"They need to read the press releases.  What has the company done?  What are their successes?  Where are they trying to go?  What are their long term objectives?," Gomez says.

Concentrate on strategy, he says, not mere tactics.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Degrees Do Pay Off, But Choice of College Major Can Determine Earnings

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- That English major might seem more fun than math or engineering, but it won't pay off nearly as well in the long run, according to a Georgetown University study released Tuesday. Researchers compared the average earnings for various fields over a 40-year career and found a 300-percent difference between the average salary of the highest-earning petroleum engineers and the lowest-earning high school guidance counselors.

"Going to college and getting a bachelor's degree is important, but the major that you take is more important than that," Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, told ABC News. "If what they are interested in is money, they should go directly to engineering, computer science, the hard sciences or business."

The study found that earning a technical degree by age 35 meant one was more likely to become a manager, and that's when earnings jump.

"You want your child to pursue their dreams, but at some point they've got to wake up and make a living. It's good to know when you're dreaming and when it's real," said Carnevale. "[Parents] ought to sit down with their child and talk about careers. There's a tendency to look on college as getting a degree, and not much attention paid to the value. In the end, there is the real hard issue about the differences in the earnings between these different careers."

For parents who might be questioning whether they or their children should take on huge debt to pay for college, the Georgetown researchers said the debt is worth it, even if the cost of college increases significantly.

"None of the average 40-year careers don't pay back the college expense, plus a few hundred thousand dollars," said Carnevale. "A couple of majors come close to being not worth it, and we were surprised at this, but they are all worth [the cost]. … We know that for a bachelor's degree and better, except for Ph.D.s who want to work in universities, career-wage returns are still higher than the cost of education."

A college degree is particularly important during a recession, when the jobless rate for high school graduates can double that of college graduates.

"This is judgement day for the B.A., and in the end, they are judged useful," Carnevale told ABC News.

So how do the majors stack up? Here is the list in descending order of earnings -- from highest to lowest.


Computers and Mathematics



Physical Sciences

Social Science

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Communications and Journalism

Industrial Arts and Consumer Services

Law and Public Policy

Biology and Life Science

Humanities and Liberal Arts



Psychology and Social Work

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report Shows College Grads Earn More, Face Less Unemployment

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- College graduates earn far more money than most people without a degree and the gap is continuing to grow, according to a new report released Tuesday by Georgetown University.

"On average if you get a bachelor's degree you'll earn 84 percent more than somebody who has high school degree," says Anthony Carnevale of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

Graduates also face a lower rate of unemployment.

"They're out of work at about one-third the rate of people with only high school degrees," says Carnevale.

And while some college majors carry far more earnings potential than others, "the higher degree level in general will make you more salable once the economy comes around," he adds.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Post-College Work is Scarce, Survey Finds

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- College graduates are having a tough time finding jobs, according to a new survey by Rutgers University.

Most of those affected had the bad luck of graduating in the middle of the recession.

The study found that one in every seven students didn't even bother entering the jobs market during the economic downturn, but instead jumped straight into graduate school.

"A number of those are because they could not find a job and had to do something with themselves," says professor Cliff Zukin, co-author of the study.

Zukin says that half of the students surveyed said they didn't need a college degree for the jobs they did manage to find.  The same amount are worried that they won't do as well as their parents, financially speaking, since there's so much competition for fewer jobs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


More Working Women Hold College Degrees than Men

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The gap between employed women and men with college degrees has widened, according to data from the Census Bureau released on Tuesday. Thirty-seven percent of employed women have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 35 percent of men, according to 2010 Census figures.

The figures released Tuesday in the Census Bureau's "Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010" analyze the education levels of Americans ages 25 and older. The minimum age of 25 was set to account for those who take extra time to finish school.

The widest gap in education levels exists among people between the ages of 25 and 30. Thirty-six percent of women in this range hold bachelor's degrees or higher, compared to only 28 percent of men.

"Women are just outpacing men generally in higher education today," said Alan Berube, a senior fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. "More of them are going to college and then more of them are actually succeeding and getting a degree, specifically bachelor degrees."

Women in the workforce first surpassed men in obtaining college degrees in 2006, when 34 percent of working women held bachelor's degrees, compared to 33 percent of men. The 2010 data shows the greatest gap between women and men in the workforce, but the overall population of women ages 25 and over with college degrees still lags behind men by 0.7 percent

"This is going to change the calculus in households about whose time in the labor market is more valuable," Berube said. "It will change the default assumptions about who is going to raise kids, who's going to do housework, who's got the most earning power, and really, at the end of the day, educational attainment is the best predictor of earnings."

Beyond the undergraduate level, almost 10.6 million women hold master's degrees or higher, compared to nearly 10.5 million men. Women also outpace men in the education and health services field, while men surpass women in fields such as manufacturing, agriculture and construction. Analysts link these disparities to the economic downturn.

"Women tend to be in industries and occupations that were less affected by the economic downturn -- education, healthcare, and government," Berube said. "In many ways, the recession was a male recession. Industries like manufacturing, construction and finance were more heavily affected."

Tuesday's data offers the most detailed look yet at education attainment across the country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


College Loan Forgiveness: When Student Dies, Should Parents Have to Pay?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LAWRENCE, Kan.) -- When John Roark's 26-year-old daughter Jessica died of cancer last August, he went about the sad task of tending to matters related to her death, including finding a burial plot and tombstone and forwarding her mail.

He eventually had to settle matters with three lenders related to her college student loans, though he had not co-signed on them. Even after sending her death certificate to one lender, Wells Fargo, he says he received three letters a week from the bank to collect about $6,000. The other two lenders, Sallie Mae and a Missouri student loan company, expressed their sympathy for the death of his daughter when they forgave the loans, said Roark. However, he said Wells Fargo was "persistent" in trying to collect his daughter's debts.

After her death in August, Roark started receiving the letters, and he called Wells Fargo to explain the situation.

"The operator said they weren't in a position to forgive the loan and wanted to collect on it," Roark said. He then requested to speak to a supervisor who repeated the message, but said that he could write to the Wells Fargo corporate office.

He said Wells Fargo continued to send him notices requesting payment, now addressed to him and not his daughter.

Then, during the same week a local television news station was interviewing Roark about his dilemma, he received a call from Wells Fargo: they were forgiving the loan.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson said the company identified early last year the need for a more formal policy of loan forgiveness in the event of a student's death or permanent disability. Wells Fargo formally enacted a policy in mid-December.

"This policy took some time but the good news is we were able to apply it to this family's situation," said Erin Downs of Wells Fargo. "That's why we're proud to be one of the only private student loan lenders that give forgiveness to co-signers in the event of death or permanent disability."

The increasing cost of college tuition has led to increasing number of students who must borrow for their education. The amount of outstanding student loans in the U.S. is approximately $888 billion, according to

One of the largest providers of private student loans, Wells Fargo has a portfolio of $26.4 billion of both federal and private education loans, according to the company. Downs said the bank serves 1.9 million student and family customers.

Co-signers are usually responsible for the debt obligations of the deceased. But a student loan may be eligible for cancellation due to death depending on the guarantor, loan type, and terms of the loan, according to Sallie Mae, a provider of federal and private loans. Federal student loans have historically provided loan forgiveness in the case of death, according to Downs.

Roark advises other families who are dealing with their children's estates to take heed when communicating with financial institutions, including taking down names of employees and dates of conversations.

"It's something you have to be vigilant about. You have to take notes or it won't go away," said Roark. "Eventually it was all taken care of. It's all behind us now."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


College Student Pays Tuition in Dollar Bills

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DENVER) -- University of Colorado-Boulder student Nic Ramos made his point about the rising cost of education Friday morning when he paid his $14,000 tuition entirely in $1 bills, reports Denver ABC affiliate KMGH.

The 20-year-old economics major packed 33 pounds of cash that he had withdrawn from several different bank branches over two days into a duffel bag and delivered the cash to the CU business office Friday morning.

The large cash payment has drawn an even larger amount of attention since the Boulder Daily Camera posted an interview with Ramos on YouTube.

"It might seem like it's kind of a useless cause," Ramos said in the video.  But, he said, "Just the sheer volume [of cash], just looking at this really sends a message.  Money does talk.  Tuition is extremely high for out-of-state [students] and it's only going up for in-state [students].  Maybe...people will kind of think of how much it really does cost to go to CU."

Ramos continued to tell the Boulder Daily Camera that he wanted to show the school "how much people are willing to give up" and "how much education really does cost for just one semester."

Bronson Hilliard, a spokesman for the university, told The New York Times it took three clerks nearly an hour to count the money.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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