Graduating seniors at Auburn University, like other colleges, are competing for jobs in the most volatile job market since 1982.
There was once a time when a young high school graduate could go to college with confidence, confidence in a return on investment regarding their college tuition.
Students would take out loans in order to pay for a quality education. The education would then help them obtain a quality job in order to pay back these student loans. In the year 2009 and beyond, this idea is far from the truth.
First time claims for unemployment benefits are increasing monthly meaning that the job market for college students is shrinking daily.
There are thousands of experienced work veterans with connections applying for the same jobs that college graduates were once seeking. These veterans have mouths to feed and mortgages to pay. Work is work and money is money.
With the decline of certain mediums such as newspapers and magazines, students majoring in journalism are facing even more of challenge as they prepare for the next stages of their life.
Chris Goodson, a graduating senior in journalism at Auburn University, has experienced the hardships of a tight job market.
“I have been undertaking in the job search that I have been putting off for a long time,” said Goodson. “I never really thought that this whole economic crisis would ever trickle down to where I am because it seemed far away for a long time. It seems that everywhere you go everyone just tells you that they have no jobs.”
Even the less coveted jobs are becoming increasingly harder to get.
“Now they are closing Starbucks and you can’t even get a job there,” said Goodson. “Everywhere you turn there is another door closed.”
Goodson has been funding his college education with the help of student loans.
“It's frustrating because you have been paying all this money to go to college thinking that this money would provide a return on investment,” said Goodson.
As the job market continues to sputter, many wonder how these hard times will define this generation of graduates. Will they be resourceful and hone their networking skills and learn to create work when needed? These are things that can only help graduates now and when things start to improve.
Many students are seeking other forms of work such as the Peace Corps. Nonprofits are reporting an increase in application submissions creating greater competition for positions.
Employers have always complained that many college graduates enter the work force with a sense of entitlement. It will be surprising to see if this sense of entitlement is stripped from the minds of graduates with the way things are.
Regardless of how the job market acts in the coming months and years, graduates should continue to look for employment no matter how humbling the experience may be.
A California high school recently reported that a job posting for a janitorial position yielded 450 applications.
As scary as this may sound, this might be the reality that graduates are facing.
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