Entries in Graduates (10)


Recent Graduates Say Future Looks Bleak

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The future looks bleak for many young people who’ve entered the workforce since 2006. 

A new survey of high school graduates from the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University finds only three in 10 are employed full time, compared with all college graduates, who are employed at nearly twice that rate.

Some 73 percent of high school grads think they need more education to have a successful career. 

According to a Heldrich survey released in May, only one fifth of recent graduates of four-year colleges and universities said their generation will have more success than the generation before them.  More than twice as many -- 58 percent -- said they will have less financial success than the previous generation. 

The reports find the situation facing less-educated young people appears to be far worse than it is for college grads.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Job Market Improving for New Grads

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Employment prospects for new college graduates are better now than at any time since the start of the recession, say college placement directors, employment experts and students themselves.

In fact, a just-released study of 225 employers by Boston research company Millennial Branding finds 87 percent of employers say they will hire more new graduates this year than last.  Almost as many say that in the past six months they have already hired up to 25 new graduates each.

The study is a first for Millennial, which consults companies on the characteristics of Generation-Y.  The survey drew on data compiled by Experience, Inc., a provider of career services for some five million current students and recent graduates.

Dan Schawbel, Millennial's founder, says that while the job picture is brightening, it's not yet back to where it was before the recession. Young job seekers, he says, still need to be realistic about their prospects.

"The message of our survey is that you can't rely on anything anymore.  Getting a degree doesn't mean you'll get a job.  Getting an internship doesn't mean you'll get a job," Schawbel says.

The most successful candidates, he says, are those who, as undergraduates, pulled out all the stops: "You've got to get as many internships as you possibly can.  Use social networks.  Use your family and your friends."

As far as skills and attributes, what are employers looking for?  Schawbel says 29 percent of companies say they want somebody with entrepreneurial experience.

"Ten years ago," he says, "that number wouldn't have been anywhere near as high."  What's changed, he says, is that companies now need "to innovate or die."  There's more pressure on them to come up with new products and services.

Successful seekers, says Schawbel, don't necessarily have to have started a business.  They just need to present their experience in a way that shows they have initiative and creative ability -- that they are "independent minded."

"Maybe you started your own blog.  Maybe you've freelanced or you created your own internship," Schawbel says.  Any of those, he explains, would carry weight with an employer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gap Year Gaining Momentum Among College Freshmen

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- An estimated 1.2 percent of first-time college freshmen take a gap year, most of them male students, according to the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California Los Angeles.

"These are still small percentages," said John Pryor, director of the cooperative institutional research program at HERI.  But college admission officers say the gap year is gaining momentum.

In Britain and Europe, the gap year has been de rigueur for decades, but a 2011 survey of American colleges estimated only about 18,000 of the 1.5 million freshmen had taken a year off after high school.

But now, some of the nation's most competitive colleges -- Harvard, Middlebury and Princeton, among others -- have adopted formal policies to allow students to defer their admission.

And public colleges like the University of North Carolina offer a Gappl to pursue academics and service abroad.

"Admission offices tell you is that the gap year increases independence and self-reliance and students have a confidence about them," said Julia Rogers, director of Vermont-based EnRoute Consulting.

In a persuasive column in the Burlington Free Press, she paraphrases Middlebury's acceptance letter to those who have asked for a gap year deferment:"Congratulations, you're in.  Now go away."

Her students have spanned the globe.

Right now, Cindy Li of Chesterbrook, Penn., is interning for a radical art collective in Mexico.  Mica Thompson of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, is working on an elephant conservation project in South Africa and Tegan Henderson, an American living in London, is learning fashion alongside designer Stella McCartney.

"We live in an increasingly digital world and are existing more virtually than before," said Rogers.  "The gap year forces them into a real experience -- learning a language on the ground, meeting people, engaging in situations -- all of which is becoming more and more rare among their peers."

The gap year is also an attractive option financially, costing an average of $10,000 to $25,000 compared to college tuitions, which are now upwards of $55,000 a year, according to Rogers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Only Half of Recent College Grads Employed Full Time

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- The great recession has taken a heavy toll on college grads, with only half of those who graduated between 2006 and 2011 reporting they have full-time jobs, according to a new study.

The survey by Rutgers University’s John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development was based on a random sample of nationwide interviews with 444 people who graduated from college during the period.

“Although many have had a full-time job since graduation, only half the sample was employed full time at the time of the survey,” the report’s authors said. “College graduates are unsure about their ability to move up. Only one-fifth believed that their generation will be more successful than the one that came before them. Well over half said they will be less successful.”

Fifty-one percent of responders had full-time jobs, the survey found, while 20 percent were in graduate school. Part-time workers made up 12 percent, and 11 percent were unemployed.

Read the full report.

The median starting salary for those surveyed was $28,000, some $3,000 less on average than pre-recession grads.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Survey: College Graduates Struggling to Find Work, Pay Loans

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- Just a few years ago, new college graduates had little trouble finding a job within a year of finishing school.  Now, the outlook for those about to jump into the job market isn't so bright.

"It has been a challenge, it really has," says Madeline Rivera, who is about to graduate from Fordham University.  "I've heard that it's getting better out there and I'm sure that's true, but in reality a lot of my friends are still having trouble finding jobs."

A new survey out Thursday seems to affirm that sentiment.  Researchers at Rutgers University found that only half of recent college graduates are working full-time.  The poll was completed last month and included 444 graduates from the class of 2006 through 2011.


Of those who managed to snag a full-time position, the median salary earned was $28,000, making it difficult for recent graduates to pay off their student loans.  The survey found that 55 percent of students owed an average of $20,000 upon graduation.

As a result, graduates have had to resort to jobs outside of their fields to make ends meet.

"A lot of people have had to do that -- choose something else that will sustain them for now.  You have to pay off loans.  You do what you have to do," says Rivera.

Furthermore, graduates who have landed positions don't feel they are on the right track.  Only 20 percent saw their first job as being on their career path, according to the survey.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jobs Data Reflects Plight of New Graduates

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- One of the bleakest spots in the tepid recovery of the U.S. jobs market is the difficulties young people are facing.  The unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds was 16.4 percent in April.  Though this number is down from its highs in 2010, it’s still at levels last seen 30 years ago.

One impact of this deplorable jobs market for younger people is that household formation in the U.S. has been shrinking.  A college education, once considered a sure way of financial independence, is no longer a guarantee of a job in your field or even any good job.  Many young people are being forced to move back in with their parents, unable to afford a home of their own.

According to latest data from  the Census Bureau, new household formations are growing at a historically slow pace.  Young people do not find themselves financially secure enough to forge their own way.

President Obama has made young people a focus of his campaign.  On Friday, the president traveled to Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va., to speak with juniors, graduating seniors and their parents.  The president spoke to the high schoolers about student loans, which have only complicated matters for new graduates.

Ballooning student loan debt -- it recently topped $1 trillion -- and a bleak job market mean the new college graduates today face a daunting start to their professional lives.

Many economists believe that young people who are not able to find jobs suffer long-term consequences.  The initial setbacks may mean hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of lost wages and opportunities.

The economy is creating jobs -- 115,000 in April -- but not at a pace strong enough to battle some of the most ominous problems with the job market including creating enough high-quality entry-level jobs.  It seems then that the new generation of American workers is in trouble, and that could mean many more economic problems in years to come, from tax revenue to housing to consumer spending.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Recent Grads Struggling to Pay Student Loans

Comstock/Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two-thirds of all college students now graduate with debt and owe an average of $24,000, as student loans are quickly becoming the only way many Americans can afford a college education.

As a result, thousands of young people -- who are also facing high unemployment -- are forced to tackle mountains of debt immediately after graduating, and many are uncertain about their futures.

Shannon Johnson, who has been a lawyer at a small, family-owned firm in North Dakota for two years, said she owes more than $150,000 from her undergraduate degree and law school.

"Because of my choice to attend college and law school, I live every day paycheck to paycheck and am forced to rely on credit cards to get by," she said. "I don't feel like I will ever be able to get to a better place, buy a home or start a family."

Others are wondering if going to college was worth the cost.

"I cannot find a well-paying job," said Robin Snyder of Perkasie, Pa. "I equate it to the housing market crash -- I now owe more on my education than it's worth."

The total U.S. student loan debt is quickly approaching the $1 trillion mark, and last year it surpassed credit cards as the highest debt that Americans carry. That is in part because the cost of education has skyrocketed in the past 30 years, up 900 percent since 1978.

Shockingly, one of the biggest jumps in college costs came in the last decade. According to CollegeBoard, tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities increased 5.6 percent each year beyond the rate of general inflation.

CollegeBoard also reported that costs are rising year to year. Published in-state tuition, fees and room and board averaged at $16,140 in the 2010-11 school year -- up 6.1 percent from the year before.

"There is no question that really, across the board, almost any variable you want to measure, this generation is feeling the brunt of this storm more than any other," said Ron Brownstein, editorial director of National Journal. "These young people are feeling the difficulty of getting their careers started really more than any other generation of workers."

The unemployment rate for people under 30 is 13 percent.

Young adults across the nation are facing many of the same issues because of the debt they carry. Not only is it a burden to make the payments each month, but it is also becoming problematic for many young people to find good paying jobs and move on and out of their parents' homes. The Census Bureau recently released figures showing that 14.2 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds lived with their parents in 2011 -- a 25-percent increase from before the recession began.

Some college grads report that they are having trouble getting loans, including ones to buy a new home.

"My wife and I are expecting our first child in May and we are trying to buy our first house," said Matthew Puls from Lake Jackson, Texas. "My lender told me that my student loan debt may cause some problems with my home loan. I am a teacher and my wife is a teacher's aide."

President Obama is expected to announce new plans for federal loans Tuesday to help graduates with their debt, but many feel as if there is no way out.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


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


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

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