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A reality check of post-grad life

Josephine Dadeboe
Staff Writer

Do you know what you’re doing after you graduate from college?

Most college students have no idea what to do after graduating and tend to fall into the stereotypical statistics of working in unpleasant careers. Sometimes, students work in professions that have nothing to do with the degree they earned in college.

Before you know it, your name gets called on graduation day and you have no choice but to begin the next step towards your future. Some concerns that come to mind for a typical college student are knowing exactly what career path to choose, creating a portfolio, looking for jobs and securing that perfect interview. With all those concerns, where does one even start?

A lot of this information can be overwhelming for those who haven’t even decided what major to choose, let alone find a career for the rest of their lives.

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Although the unemployment rate for a graduate student is about half the unemployment rate of high school graduates, it is better to have a graduate degree in the job market than to have nothing at all. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report in 2011 that looked at college graduates who were under 30. About 73 percent of the graduates were employed and more than 11 percent of the graduates were still looking for jobs.

Apart from the unemployment issue, another concern that is a worry for most college students is underemployment. There is a constant dread that one might get a job that pays minimum wage or less just to make ends meet rather than using the earned graduate degree to start a stable career. The situation of underemployment is very real because barely half of college graduates are in occupations that require a bachelor’s degree or more.

According to an article from the US News, the Obama administration announced that there are two new initiatives that are aimed to train students for “in-demand jobs of the future” at both high school and college levels. Hopefully, with the help of these stated initiatives, there will be more awareness on figuring out how to better develop the student’s skills to excel in future careers.

Throughout the college experience, the students who have an advantage in the “real” working world are the ones who take the initiative to work hard and do what they have to do to succeed.

There should be career training classes offered to students who are hesitant about the “real” work world after college. Along with general courses, freshman or sophomore students should be offered to take career training classes. The classes should inform students how to improve resumes; it should offer other options to working such as interning and volunteering, and work to help students create portfolios that will be useful during interviews.

Even though there are other means of career help on campus such as advisors, internship and the volunteer office, most students may feel overcome with the process of adapting to future career changes in today’s time. I understand that college is not about cradling students into careers that are available but it sure would be nice to be properly informed of the reality in the “real” world that graduating students cannot foresee for themselves.