I was sitting in the dentist chair the other day, and my dentist was lamenting about his brother, a UCLA recent grad in chemistry, who can't find a job. Another e-mail from a family at church, whose daughter graduated from UCLA with an English Literature degree. Both of them had the SAME question...Since they can't find jobs...should they go to graduate school instead?
According to The Associated Press: “A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge. Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.”
I guess I am old fashioned...if you have no work experience in your desired field, undergraduate student loan debt...why continue down the path to get even more in debt, and still no experience??? If I were hiring..especially in this economy, I would hire the person with experience rather than the one in debt with no work experience. I don't believe I am alone.
As a college planner, I can tell a lot about the maturity of a student and the reason for going to college by the questions asked. Instead of asking about size, football team, or Greek life...they should be asking about internship or co-op possibilities...and employment partnerships at the college. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers converted about 60 percent of their Class of 2011 interns into full-time hires, a record high. I read another stat that said 92% of those hired out of college had completed internships or co-ops during their undergraduate career.
Many colleges have them built into the curriculum...Internships and Co-ops function as resume-building real-life exposure for students, a stepping stone to a full-time job for degree-holders and a source of affordable labor for small businesses.