As a senior graduating in December, I am already on the job hunt. As most people know, getting a job in the market these days is near to impossible for recent graduates unless you, according to forbes.com, are pursuing an accounting, finance, computer science or engineering degree.
The issue with hiring recent graduates is usually the lack of experience. In many cases, application instructions list requirements for the position. In those requirements includes a number of years of experience, even for entry level jobs. How are recent grads supposed to gain an entry level job with so many years of experience, when they have not had an entry level job to grant them that experience?
This is driving up the unemployment rate of those graduating college. The unemployment rate of those between the ages of 20 to 24 that have earned bachelor’s degrees, which is 7 percent, is not significantly lower than those with some college but no degree, which is 12.2 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
This is a problem. This shows that earning a bachelor’s degree does not exactly cut it anymore. College students are going to have to start doing more than just earn a degree during their college years in order to attain an adequate job in their field of study post-graduation.
However, the good news is that if you have a college degree, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, you make more money than those without a degree after you get a job. Those with a bachelor’s degree on average make approximately $15,000 more than those who just graduated from high school. After 30 years, according to simpledollar.com, that adds up to a $450,000 difference.
Even internships are hard to come by without experience. I am fortunate enough to have found an internship, but I can only attribute it to my experience in writing and doing video for the Lariat.
Companies should not expect college graduates to have multiple years of experience right off the bat. We have been working four years, sometimes more, to earn a degree that is supposed to show what things we can do because of the classes we have taken. If you’re like me, you have a portfolio of work from those classes to show in hopes that future employers will count them as experience.
In a recent interview for an internship, my interviewer went over my resume with me and asked “What is the difference between your experience and your employment history?” To that question, all I could come up with was “I got paid for the employment.” She then told me to get rid of the employment history and just use the experience part to prove why they should hire me and to inform the employer of what qualities I have achieved throughout college.
This proves that employers don’t care that you worked at whatever restaurant or retail store while you were in college or even high school. If you are going to get an internship or job while you are in college, shoot for one within your field of study, so when the time comes, you have a good “experience” section on your resume.
Many employers consider internships experience. The problem with this is that recent grads turn to usually minimum wage or no-pay internships after graduation and end up staying in those positions because they need that experience. But is it worth it? During that time, they are living on essentially nothing trying to make ends meet. Some move back home with their parents in order to save money by not paying rent.
How can employers expect us to have experience without someone helping us get it? We need experience, but few are willing to give it to us. Employers should take chances on recent grads or even college seniors so that they can start building up “experience” in order to get a decent, paying job after graduation.
Madison Miller is a senior journalism and film and digital media double major from Prosper. She is a reporter and regular columnist for the Lariat.