The millions of students graduating in 2012 are going to be in for a very rough time, especially since almost half of all graduates are either unemployed or working in positions that don’t completely use the skills they learned in college.
We are finding more and more college grads working as clerks, waiters, bartenders and receptionists among other low-wage jobs. What hurts even more is the fact that these grads are burdened with five or even six-digit student loans that they have to pay off on a monthly basis.
Good news: not all college grads face such dim prospects in the future.
Those who graduated from fields in science, education and health can usually find jobs on the market if they look hard enough. You would probably be surprised to find out that low-skill, high-focus positions like home health aides are projected to employ more people than mid-level jobs like bank tellers. The success of prospective entrepreneurs will depend on their ingenuity, innovation and doggedness, so you really can’t put a solid finger on how they will perform.
But for bachelor’s degree-holders in the arts and humanities, job prospects are extremely slim – if any are available at all.
“If you’re not sure what you’re going to be doing, it probably bodes well to take some job, if you can get one, and get a sense first of what you want from college,” says Harvard economist Richard Freeman. Freeman points out how early-life decisions will have an inevitable impact later on in life, especially when graduating with a degree that costs about $20,000 to $50,000 or more.
While we as a country need to do more to provide jobs, we also have to educate our youth about their prospects in the future – especially when we are taking out tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.