Despite high nationwide unemployment rates and uncertainty in post-graduation job hunting, studies demonstrate that ASU students are finding work after graduation.
Nora Werner, who graduated in May 2013, said she feels an undergraduate degree does not hold the weight it once did.
“I think it’s almost the equivalent of a high school diploma lately,” Werner said.
While the outlook for post-graduation job hunting may seem bleak to many students, ASU’s post-graduation statistics for 2011-12 reported that 83.4 percent of undergraduate and 89 percent of graduate students had found work or received a job offer within 90 days of graduating.
However, the study did not mention if the jobs were in their selected field of study.
Scott Berren, assistant director for research and assessment in Career Services, said he believed the majority of graduates had found work in their field of study.
Economics professor Eleanor Dillon said there is increased demand for college degrees in the labor market.
“I think in the job market going forward, there’s clearly an increase in demand for college-educated labor, and that’s reflected in the growth in the premium that a college degree demands,” she said.
The difference in earnings between those with a college degree and those without have increased significantly, showing a higher demand for employees with more education, Dillon said.
“From 1980 to today, the ratio of earnings for someone who has a college degree and someone who has not has widened dramatically,” Dillon said. “It’s increased by over 30 percent. This increasing return to the college degree, I think, is partially reflecting demand in the labor market for more skilled workers.”
Full-time workers over 25 years of age with a high school diploma had an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent in 2012, nearly double that of those with an undergraduate degree at 4.5 percent, according to the The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey.
The survey also reported that the difference in weekly median income for those respective groups was $414 higher for those with an undergraduate degree.
For those looking for employment after graduation or while attending ASU, Berren said many resources are available for students looking for jobs, including the Sun Devil CareerLink, where students can find information on job offers and internships and the coming career fair on Sept. 24 to 26.
“We’ll have our largest career fair of the entire year on those days here at the Tempe campus,” Berren said, “We’ll have over 170 employers here to talk with upcoming graduates and recent grads about professional job opportunities.”
A key factor in one’s success while in college lies in not simply moving through the motions but moving with purpose, Dillon said.
“It’s not just checking the boxes in your classes,” she said. “Simply being in the classroom with all of these other smart and interesting students will help you learn, will enhance your experience, and it will continue to benefit you down the road.”
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