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Finding a job after college

By Breanna McMurray SAN MARCOS – Every semester a new class of senior’s graduate from college and the race to find a job is on. There is a lot of pressure for students when it comes to finding a job after graduating and it can cause a lot of stress and mental anguish on students. Whatever the field of study students must always go through this part of life. After 4 years of hard work and living in the college bubble they are greeted with the task of finding out what they want to do with their life. Most seniors don’t have a job waiting for them, so this time of year is very stressful.

One of the main issues college graduates face is underemployment, and graduates don’t end up using their degree in their job field. According to the Wall Street Journal around 43% of college graduates are underemployed in their first job. This shows that just because someone has a college degree does not mean they are entitled to find a job in their field immediately after graduation. There is a lot of work and time that goes into finding a job, and it can take a few tries before the graduate finds what they are looking for.

The amount of people aged 25-34 with some type of higher educational degree has increased in the past decade or so, which makes the job market an even more competitive place for new graduates. Below is a data visualization that shows the number and the percent of people aged 25-34 with different types of degrees. This data shows that there is an increasing amount of the population that hold an undergraduate degree, and the percent of the population that hold more prestigious degrees drops drastically.

Percent of Employment Rate of 25-34 year olds (2018)

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics

These statistics may discourage some, but according to Do-It, it takes the average college graduate 3-6 months after graduation to find a secure job after graduating. There are many different kinds of students in various different situations, but they all have some things in common, such as wanting a competitive salary while also finding something they are passionate about. I talked to Jillian Volkmar, a recent Texas State graduate, who shared some struggles she had after college.

“It took me 5 months to find a job after graduating from Texas State in May 2019. It took me much longer than I expected, and I even got a job at Starbucks while I continuously applied to full time positions. Even after putting in hundreds of applications most of the interviews I was invited to were because of networking and knowing fellow alumni who worked at the companies. Candidly, it wasn’t an easy time for me, but it is something that everyone who graduates goes through to varying degrees. Some of my peers had jobs lined up before graduation, some got them shortly after, and some are still looking,” says public relations major Jillian Volkmar.

No matter a students major, there is a time period of uncertainty for after college, and a lot of students are worried about their salary. Below is a data graphic thats shows the media wages for college graduates and is broken up by various popular majors.

While some students have an idea of what they want to do, finding a job that matches your personal description is very hard, and often those jobs are highly competitive. Most full-time jobs require a lot of qualifications and a lot of students find these to be hard to fulfill right out of college. “Most jobs require 1 to 2 years of industry experience, and there’s really no possible way for me, fresh out of college, to have those qualifications for a full time position”, says Texas State Senior Summer Hawkins.

Hear more about Texas State Senior Summer Hawkins journey to find a job. Also I talk to Kyle Jacob, a college senior who already has a job lined up for after graduation.

These days a college degree is not enough to land you the dream job and your experience in that field will set you apart from the rest of the applicants. There are many ways to gain experience outside of the classroom and there are many resources students can use to learn tips and tricks to perfecting their resume.

“Students discount the skills and experience that they do have, the things that you’re learning in your courses are super relevant and important to the work you’re going to be doing. The different experiences you have whether it’s through a part-time job, volunteer work, or working with different student organizations, you can be building transferrable skills that are really applicable to a job role.” says college career advisor Sam Heimbach.

“Students discount the skills and experience that they do have, the things that you’re learning in your courses are super relevant and important to the work you’re going to be doing. The different experiences you have whether it’s through a part-time job, volunteer work, or working with different student organizations, you can be building transferrable skills that are really applicable to a job role.” says college career advisor Sam Heimbach.

Every student that is pursuing a career in their field of study has to go through this process, and it can be very discouraging to some students. Every career field is highly competitive, and some graduates have to take a longer time to find a job or an internship post-grad to gain more experience.

“It’s really easy to compare your success in your job search to others but everyone’s search is unique”, says Jillian Volkmar, who now has found a career as an account manager at a traveling agency and is planning to attend graduate school in the Fall.

Networking, gaining experience during school, and having a respectable online presence and portfolio is important to stick out to employers right out of college.

Hear more about how the job search can impact students mental health, and get some tips from a college advisor about how to deal with the stress of the search.

As the job field becomes more competitive and the amount of young people with undergraduate degree increases, students must adapt to allow themselves to stand out to employers and companies.  

Sources.

https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2018/demo/education-attainment/cps-detailed-tables.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/study-offers-new-hope-for-english-majors-1540546200

https://www.washington.edu/doit/what-can-students-do-improve-their-chances-finding-employment-after-college

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