Unprepared and underemployed

klendaThe close of another school year is fast approaching leaving thousands of students wondering… what’s next?

Every year ASU experiences a larger number of students going through the commencement ceremony.

With more than 10,000 students expected to graduate, the job hunt is starting as the books are closing.



College enrollment statistics as a whole have been at all-time highs, while the job market remains increasingly low.

A study done by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2013 found that there are more than 17 million students enrolled in either a private or public four- or two-year college, with an overwhelming 14 million of that number solely being undergraduate students.

Colleges award more than 1.4 million bachelor's degrees and about 700,000 associate's degrees annually.

Within those numbers, only 31 percent of students at public universities earn their bachelor's degree in four years, and 56 percent within six years.

According to a NerdWallet study of college graduates employment, of the 240 undergraduate universities involved, only 50 percent of graduates reported any kind of employment after graduation.

Public school graduates earned only 80 percent of what private school graduates earned; overall, Ivy league universities had higher employment rates and higher starting salaries.

Sadly for the Millennial generation, most end college with an underemployed position and student debt that trails for years to come.

The generations that preceded us would end college with a better chance at employment with a more promising salary.

The job search seems to follow a process, applying and interviewing over and over just to be caught at a dead end when your degree is overlooked and you have no “real-world” experience about which to boast.

The lack of experience within a specified field is accompanied by an unprepared approach to entering the job market.

According to a study done by The Georgetown University Center of Education and the Workforce, there's an 8 percent jobless rate among new graduates and 44 percent are underemployed (holding positions that do not require a college degree).

But according to the study, the slow job growth isn’t what is hurting the job search. It’s the millennial generation itself.

Many take a relaxed approach to the interview process, and in some circumstances, are accompanied by a parent.

A recent survey from the hiring managers of Adecco Staffing US found that 66 percent of hiring managers believe recent college graduates are unprepared for the workplace.

The key component to an interview is a good résumé; more than 54 percent of hiring managers don’t offer jobs to candidates with poor résumés.

In order to outshine other candidates in the interview process, it is crucial to remain engaged and focused.

According to Adecco, it is easier to make minor mistakes than you think — lack of eye contact, checking cell phones, fidgeting and bad posture are all indications that the person will most likely not be hired.

The generation gap between the newly graduating Millennial and Generation X has developed strong differences.

The older generations know that we grew up in a time where technology was very much a part of everyday life, a crutch in some sense.

But all of this doesn’t mean its impossible: According to Adecco, younger generations don’t put in the same effort that used to be expected.

Goal statements and objectives are still sought after on a résumé, the same way prior job experience or internships are.

Dressing appropriately shows that you put forth the respect for which they look.

Another factor is being reasonable because our generation thinks we should fall out of college and land in a high-paying job with endless benefits and days off.

Overall, even though the numbers seem bleak, it is not hopeless.

Older generations simply want us to give them respect and leave the cocky “I’m young and smart” persona at home.

Reach the columnist at Lauren.Klenda@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @laurenklenda

Editor’s note: The opinion presented in this column is the author’s and does not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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