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Jobs And New Graduates

Jobs and new graduates. We look at personal and national strategies for putting our young to work.

Students at the University of Vermont. (AP)

Students at the University of Vermont. (AP)

For millions of Americans, finding and keeping a job for the next year or two has been a hefty challenge in the age of Great Recession. For young Americans, looking to prepare for a lifetime of work, it’s been a double, triple challenge.

Finding a job at all. Finding a job that justifies their often costly education. Finding a job and a focus and a passion that might somehow, someday, realistically, life-sustainingly, turn into a career.

A new crop is about to graduate. The recession is, maybe, receding.

This hour On Point: careers, jobs, and the young now.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

William “Bill” Symonds, Director of the Pathways to Prosperity Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which is focused on finding ways for America’s youth to enter the work force. He spent nearly 25 years as a correspondent and bureau chief at BusinessWeek, including as senior education correspondent.

Rich Feller, Professor of Counseling and Career Development at the School of Education at Colorado State University, and President of the National Career Development Association, which represents career development counselors at American Colleges and Universities. (@Rich_Feller)

Melanie Holmes, Vice President, ManpowerGroup, an employment-services company that places 4 million people in jobs in more than 80 countries. (@melanieholmes)

From Tom’s Reading List

Harvard Graduate School of Education “If we fail to better prepare current and future teens and young adults, their frustration over scarce and inferior opportunities is likely to grow, along with economic inequality. The quality of their lives will be lower, the costs that they impose on society will be higher, and many of their potential contributions to society will go unrealized.” (PDF)

The Atlantic “First, a degree is more expensive than ever, and students are piling on debt to finance their educations. It’s much harder to pay back loans while working for tips at Buffalo Wild Wings than when you have a decent office job. Second, when college graduates take a low-paid, low-skill job, they’re probably displacing a less educated worker, For every underemployed college degree holder, there’s a decent chance someone with just a high school diploma is out of work entirely.”

Huffington Post “Even the college graduates and millennials who are able to find jobs aren’t entirely out of the woods. A 2009 Yale University study showed students who graduate into a recession can expect to earn a 10 percent lower wage after a decade of work than they otherwise would have earned in a strong economy.”

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  • 2Gary2

    I think one needs to look at the quality of the jobs and not just that there may be a job.  It is very sad to see people with a college degree having to work at McJobs that do not require a high school diploma, much less an expensive college degree.

    Here in WI we have a college drop out for a gov who places no value on education as evidenced by his cuts to education in order to give tax cuts to the rich (his donors).  Now the guy is running around the country and writing a book as WI dropped to #44, down from #42 in job creation. This is probably good that he is MIA as he does more harm when he is here.  We can not have uneducated buffoons running the states.  When we do the states end up like WI–#44 in job creation.

    • JobExperience

      Jobs are  often designed in an inhumane way when a more caring variant would be more efficient. Managers tend to sadism. Worker self directed enterprises could mitigate this suffering. (see Democracy at Work.com)

      These drop out governors like in NC and WI want to dumb down education to their level. All they remember is the partying and sports fanaticism.

  • 2Gary2

    I also think we need to get better people to be police officers.  The quality of MANY of the police officers is pathetic.  What do we expect when they only get 36,000 to start?  Certainty not the best and brightest.. We get a Mcdonalds Fry Cook who gets off on having powers over others.  And we wonder why there is a police scandal of the day everyday.

    Cops aren’t out there putting their lives on the line to keep us all
    safe like they claim, they are out cruising around looking for the
    “low-hanging fruit” they can go after easily, with minimal risk.

    Stopping motorists is big business and a huge $$$ source for the state.

    I (and many many others) have NO respect for the police as 50% of them are undereducated corrupt lazy dolts, who before they were cops were living in their mothers basement wacking off to porn.  The 50% figure has been told to me by the 50% of the police who are good and by several not just 1 or 2.  The best of the police are quitting for greener pastures and the stories they tell…

    • LinRP

      You know, while you sound a bit harsh, and not all of them are living in their mother’s basement, I do agree with you. Over and over again, many of the cops in our safe, suburban town display every disgusting trait you outline. They torment the teenagers without reason–talk about low-hanging fruit.

      100% honest here–I got “pulled over” the other day WHILE I WAS OUT RUNNING. The cruiser came to a screech, turned on the bubble gum lights, did a u-turn to pull me over because I cut into the crosswalk from the curb ON A DIAGONAL! I kid you not. It was barely 6 am, and not another human or car in sight. I couldn’t believe the hostility and aggressiveness of this cop at me–a middle aged woman out for a run. I swear he was on something it was so crazy.

      Anyway, I feel as you do. My respect for most of the cops I meet is non-existent.

    • JobExperience

       Sadists tend to attract and hire sadists.
      People trained in sadism in the military are networked in.
      The Owners need obedient drones and not thinking cops.
      The worst tend to get kicked upstairs.

  • LinRP

    With four children in their 20s, we are in the thick of this issue. It is a world of unpaid internships, and minimum-wage, part-time work with no benefits. All of which would be a lot more palatable if universal health care was the way of the land. If health care were available to all there would be a lot more breathing room for these kids to muddle through these economic times as they get their careers underway.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      There would be even less jobs for them.  

      • LinRP

        That is ridiculous. How’s unemployment in Sweden and Norway? How’s the health of their population? You flippin’ people who “have yours” and cannot give a rat’s bollocks about how important health care is for every single person living in the human condition are despicable and are missing a piece of humanity and morality.

        So glad everything is perfect in your world where your family, your kids and grandkids will never have to go without medical care EVER, because, you know, you “got yours.” Wait until the bottom falls out on people like you–because it will. Just a matter of time.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          The bottom is falling out on you and your children and you resent me for telling you the truth.  Are you familiar with the phrase, “he handed over his birthright for a plate of beans” or maybe the song lyric “Well, don’t it always seem to go, That you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

          • LinRP

            OK, I see now that you are one who is truly absurd. Sweeping statements, no facts. Carry on.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Thanks for the ad hominem attacks, good luck. 

          • Don_B1

            LinRP is NOT calling you, for example, a “creep.” He is saying that you don’t point to any facts but are just spouting an opinion, which he believes is false and is asking you to try to convince him otherwise.

            Try checking the dictionary for the meaning of “ad hominem.”

          • JobExperience

            Look at all the undone work going begging and ask why government doesn’t put people to doing it. We are sitting  in our own excrement chained to the  bed. And the wealthy are laughing at us.

          • northeaster17

            But still, despite your attitude towards our bottom falling out, healthcare is not an issue in many countries. The right has no answer to that and how healthcare works in our country. The closest the right has come to an answer was Romney’s plan. And you all ran against it. Just awesome, and predictable.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Now that some honest assessments of the true cost of Obamacare is finally coming out (rather than the lies that the administration and Democrats in Congress told in order to get this monstrosity passed), graduates and others will have an even more difficult time getting full time jobs as companies reassess their hiring needs in light of the much higher cost of health care benefits. 

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/26/obamacare-medical-claims-costs_n_2956986.html

    • jimino

      You are correct in pointing out that legislation that uses our crony market approach coupled with mandatory private health insurance is the most wasteful method of providing and paying for health care one could devise.

      Check out some facts, assuming they affect your conclusions: 

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/26/21-graphs-that-show-americas-health-care-prices-are-ludicrous/

      “This is the fundamental fact of American health care: We pay much, much
      more than other countries do for the exact same things.”

    • Shag_Wevera

      Why are THESE assessments honest and the others lies?  Methinks it partisan hackery.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Yes!  only the Glorious Leader speaks the Truth!

        • JobExperience

          Viva Peron!

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Because that is what those proposing big new government programs do to get the program approved:  underestimate the cost by many multiples.  Witness social security, medicare, medicaid, etc., etc., etc.  

  • JGC

    In Canada, the federal government will be tying some contracts to mandatory apprenticeships provided to new workers. (Sort of a twist on German-inspired apprenticeship programs.)  The apprenticeships will be funded 1/3 by Canada, 1/3 by the province and 1/3 by the employer that wins the contract.  I am hopeful that this may unclog some of the log jam against companies not hiring because the candidate does not have enough pertinent experience or because they are fearful to invest training in a candidate who may (or may not) leave their company.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      The apprenticeships will only change the faces of the unimployed to older workers. It does not solve the problem, to do that would require that we grow our econbomy by 5% per year.

      • JobExperience

        That’s “the twist.” Germany has seniority in strong unions. Our community  colleges here in the USA have often been used to flood specific labor pools and drive down wages while forestalling organizing. Community colleges were run by Chamber of Commerce types and not by workers representatives. Welding programs become plentiful and cheap when a pipeline is to be built.
        Later they disappear. Taxpayers subsidize an army of skilled unemployed. We have a giant surplus of teachers and nurses but we churn out more and more and more and more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Brown/100005072172029 Alan Brown

    http//www.PostCollegeLaunch.com is filled with resources on next steps for the college graduate. It has information on cost of living data for various cities, graduate schools, training for next steps. There is also information about setting up living arrangements and other important life style concerns.  

    • JobExperience

       Show it to your worker at the foodstamp office.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Welcome to the wonderful world of work.  You are likely to make less than your pops did for the same work.  You’ll change jobs/careers a dozen or two times, and when it is over and your body is broken, you’ll come face to face with the tatters of what was once a safety net.  ENJOY!

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      The cold hard truth.

      Welcome to the age of corporataucracy! May our neofeudal lords be enlightened and bless us with their scraps.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Exactly. Once, responsible “American” corporations would recycle their profits back into the USA in the form of good wages and benefits and R&D. They would even train new graduates who didn’t have precisely the skills they wanted for a position, and establish long-term relationships. Now, all the wealth flows to the top and employees are simply a cost to be minimized.

        With big corps in their current malignant form, my advice to new grads is to work for a startup, or even start your own startup, if you can. Basically, the fewer MBAs and plutocrat executives around, the better. The atmosphere in a startup can be wonderful.

        The other option is to join the dark side. I don’t want more bright kids going into the financial sector, so I hate to say it, but it is an option.

        • JobExperience

           “No sector will be more devastated than banking and financials by automation in the coming decade.” Michael Hudson

    • Gregg Smith

      If you do what you love then you never work a day in your life.

      • JobExperience

        See me on the porch whittling in my old rocker.
        “Money for nothin’, chicks for free.”

        • Gregg Smith

          God bless you.

  • Phil McCoy

    It’s all about connections. my friend couldn’t find a job her whole senior year of college. I finally offered to help and through a family friend landed her a job in two weeks make 40k with benefits straight out of college. not sure if 40k is good or not but she was one of the few people who got a job in the field she wanted that I knew.

    me on the other hand, I work for americorps making 12k because I couldn’t find a job after college/volunteering is a passion of mind and sitting on my bum isn’t. fortunately I will be going to medical school next year so I won’t have to worry about a job, just $200k of debt.

    • Gregg Smith

      By definition volunteering is not going to earn a living but it’s a choice. Passion is extremely important and in my view trumps money but expectations need to be realistic. Good luck.

      • Phil McCoy

        “getting paid” is probably the wrong term (indeed americorps refers to it as a stipend).

        a common misconception is that the government is paying people to volunteer. It’s more like “oh you have to move to an entirely new city and live independently, here we will give you a stipend that is about 1,000$ above poverty level so you have a roof over your head and some food and aren’t homeless while you are trying to help improve our country.”
        not saying you were attacking me or anything but it really grinds my gears that people think I am being paid like a job for the work I do. I could make twice as much Microwaving burgers at McDonald’s than I do at my americorps placement. I personally believe Americorps is a great program because it takes talented youth and puts them to working on real issues in the US. I was merely pointing out that it was my only option for a post college job (and that was with a master’s degree)

        • Gregg Smith

          I don’t think either of us used the phrase “getting paid”. I inferred volunteering was a passion of yours but the syntax is unclear. I respect the notion of volunteering and was trying to make the point it is not a money making proposition, it’s a passion. I applaud your decision to work with Americorps.

          An old High School buddy came for a visit last week. We had’t seen each other in 30 years. He is a PA and works setting up PA programs for universities. He got his schooling funded for his PHD by agreeing to move to an under serviced rural area for two years after he graduated. So you may choose to be in the same boat at some point but the money is better.

    • JobExperience

       Sometimes our passions haunt us. Some employers prefer a heartless Tinman.

  • Gregg Smith

    The paradigm has shifted. It is no longer the case that any college degree is better than no college degree, it used to be that way. For many college is not the best choice. Anyone who goes deeply into debt for a degree in Philosophy or a Fine Arts and expects a cush job has made a bad decision IMO. I’d say the same thing about my profession, music. I went to college and majored in music for a while but I dropped out because I was making money playing gigs and college was getting in the way. I am very knowledgeable on music theory and composition but I did it on my own. I did alright and now 30+ years out some very exciting things are happening and my passions stronger than ever. 

    Don’t get me wrong, college can be great and absolutely necessary for many vocations. Knowledge is a good thing but there are many sources for knowledge.  

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      The Highe Education Bubble is bursting.
      FTA
      “While student loans are growing as a part of the total consumer debt balance in the United States, they are still a small part. But they are now leading among loans that are 90 days or more past due.”

      http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/03/higher-ed-bubble-in-two-charts/

      • Gregg Smith

        If the government bails them out it will be a huge injustice to the taxpayers.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          The question is not about injustice but if they are reliable Democrat votes.

          • Gregg Smith

            Pandering with our money for votes is an injustice in my view.

          • JobExperience

            In Mexico the CIA underwrote food vouchers to get their preferred candidate elected.
            Pretty soon Mike Blumberg will be trading 24oz. sodas for votes. Poor hungry people will follow the ice cream truck, even without “turkey in the Straw.”

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    I fear that we’ve hit or are near the tipping point. 

    For a couple of decades, the US has achieved greater and greater productivity per worker through computerization and automation.  Coupled with the outsourcing of jobs to overseas workers, the wages of middle tier workers have fallen as there is now a vast a surplus of us.

    Further exacerbating the stress on our economic system has been the redistribution of money skewed upwards to the wealthy through

    1) increasingly higher compensation in the board room and on Wall Street
    2) lower income tax rates on the wealthy
    3) capital gains tax cut in half by Dubya and
    4) tax policies that allow major corporations to make
    billions in profits and not pay any federal income tax. (Our EFFECTIVE tax rates are some of the lowest in the industrialized world.)

    For a given amount of GDP, there is now less left over at the bottom after C level execs and Fund Managers and investors have taken their percentage off the top at EFFECTIVE tax rates ½ that the average worker.

    Is it any wonder that with less disposable income trickling down to the masses by businesses and government, there is less consumption driving growth?

    Doh!

    THIS IS NOT LEFT OR RIGHT.
    THIS IS NOT IDEOLOGY.
    THIS IS MATH.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      The more ridiculous you premise is the more you believe it is inevitable.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Absolutely. And, with voodoo econ in control, we do nothing to correct the situation. There are many things we should do, but glaringly obvious step #1 is a return to strong progressive taxation.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Higher taxes will fix everything?  Great plan, let us double down on the Greck economic model.   It is sure to work this time.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          I don’t know if you can get past 1980s talking points, but:

          It sure worked for us in the 50s and 60s.

          We’re in a very low tax environment by our historical standards.

          We have nothing in common with Greece. Please, give the talking points a rest.

          Can you really not see the connection between romney types paying under 13% tax rate and the sinking middle class? Unbelievable.

          • Kyle

            It’s easy to have a thriving economy like the 50′s and 60′s when half the world can’t trade with you because they’re under communism and the other half has been decimated by war having no industrial capacity to build their own goods defaulting them to yours. It was a lack of competition that let the US thrive in the mid 20th century.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Just say “insert talking point” and save yourself the keystrokes.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Your high horse is so high that you maybe suffering from altitude illness.

            Your have presented a misinterpretation of economic data as a foundation for your argument.  After WWII there were massive spending cuts by the Federal government and a loosening of New Deal error regulations.  Coupled with the demand from most of the rest of the world for American products our economic growth provided prosperity.  

            News Flash Romney lost.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Oooh, ideology on steroids. Why say “romney lost”? Don’t be irrelevant. He’s still paying less than 13%, which is the point. Actually we don’t know what he’s paying, since he artificially increased his taxes by refusing some deductions, to improve his image, and now he’ll refile.

            If you’re interested in what works, you look at the best period for the middle class, and say “why not try that again”? If you’re interested in defending your ideology, you try to explain the prosperity away with the TP about our lack of competitors.

            My only ideology is what works. We’ve been cutting taxes and deregulating since 1980, and the middle class has been sinking. Why not try something else? It’s not like we have a lot to lose!

             

            Geez, the GoP wouldn’t even go for the interstates now.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            “Just say ‘insert talking point’ and save yourself the keystrokes.”

            Maybe you are just upset that your namesake isn’t running for mayor, but you are less cogent than normal.  Or maybe you could stop using the Magic Eight Ball for your responses.  

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I can tell the difference between someone looking for solutions and someone explaining away the facts to defend a preconception. I’m sorry for you if you can’t.

            I’ve heard the TP about all our competitors being in ruins in the 50s and 60s as the reason for our shared prosperity hundreds of times. You actually have no idea if that’s true. You don’t know it wasn’t our high tax, high regulation system that created shared prosperity, as I believe. But you are incapable of  saying anything but the TP. Why? Why not give something besides voodoo a try? I’ve found that trying stuff until I find the thing that works is a good approach in almost everything.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            No, you can’t or you wouldn’t comment the way that you do.  Nor are sorry, you are obviously smugly satisfied with you alleged superiority.

            Your assertion is just an article of faith propagated by those that believe in a benevolent and caring government that will provide for all your wants and needs.  You see yourself as the vanguard that will transform miserable place into the utopia that you dream about.  Your belief system is incapable of changing which renders it vulnerable causing your zealous (and blind) defense. 

        • JobExperience

           Greece collapsed because of fiscal know-it-alls believing Goldman Sachs, and because tycoons got too big to tax and off-shored their income. I’ve been to Greece and the people are willing workers in a denuded environment. They do great if left alone, but they can’t afford bottom heavy taxation and corporate gouging. The main meat there is octopus for good reason.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Interesting story.  

    • Kyle

      The solution to your problems is going back to a truly free enterprise system instead of this crony capitalist system we have. If you raise taxes more, special interest will just get more loop holes created.

      Also you were espousing ideology since progressive taxation is a “progressive” ideology.

      I don’t claim my post is ideology free.

      • JobExperience

        That kid done been sent through the brainwash too many times. Poor little dibbie believes in a golden age of capitalism here at Easter. We call that period the Gilded Age, Snidey. That dibbie’s vehicle is headed for the speeding truck windshield when he gets out.

        • Kyle

          The Gilded Age was full of crony capitalist too. If you protect the public coffers, legislature, and uniform commercial code from special interests you don’t get blank checks handed out to banks. You don’t get a paper corporate tax of ~30% and an effective rate of 0%. 

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          It looks to me that you have drunk the industrial cool-aid and in denial of the reality of this economy.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        We cannot put an end to crony capitalism unless we wake up as a nation. That can only happen if we vote in every cycle and send a message to our politicians that we will no longer stand for corporations writing their own laws. Of course this has gone on forever. The effect of this overt corruption is worse now.

        A dream yes, but I see no other solution.

        • Kyle

          Agreed.

  • Kyle Schneider

    As a student and soon to be graduate what all my colleagues need to know is that they should be pursuing RELEVANT degrees.

    Anyone who pursues a degree in something technical will have a job and those who decide to do just an average job at obtaining a soft science degree won’t. This doesn’t mean the soft sciences are of no use but you need to know careers in those fields are scarce and mostly in academia or lower paying public service. 

    It’s a personal choice to go to college and study what you want. If you don’t have a job afterwards or are disappointed in your salary if you do. You probably didn’t do your due diligence when making the decision of going to college. 

    It’s ok to pursue one’s passions and you’ll be happier but you need to be aware of what the job market is demanding. I suggest doing both maybe Literature and Econometrics or Chemical engineering and Sociology. 

    • JobExperience

      A vocational education has no resilience and provides no social conscience. Shelf life is short for what you advocate and this country has enough numbskull nihilists already. When right wing governors want to eliminate humanities and languages and ethnic histories from state school curricula that means they serve employers who need clipped wing chickens to bring salaries down. I can see from your post you haven’t had the benefit of exposure to the Big Picture like the boys and girls at Harvard and Yale.

      Look, you could get the same tech crud at ITT tech as you paid mucho dinero for at a beer and football palace.
      But you gonna find out soon enough.

      • Kyle

        Was I not arguing pursue both the humanities and the sciences? I loath your so called “numbskull nihilists” that walk around my campus with no knowledge of the beauty of Goethe or a well rounded knowledge of views diverse as Voltaire, Marx, Smith, and Rousseau.

  • Kyle Schneider

    .

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    You are paying to much for a college education.
    FTA:
    Students in countries like India and Brazil have been signing up in droves for these massive open online courses, or MOOCs, offered for free from top-tier universities, such as Stanford, MIT, and Harvard.http://www.technologyreview.com/news/512256/in-the-developing-world-moocs-start-to-get-real/

    • adks12020

      I think those classes are a great idea and may even take one or two but unless or until employers recognize them they are useless for getting a job. Employers want a diploma.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Dilpomas aren’t worth what they used to be worth and in many cases less than what you have paided for them.  

        http://www.businessinsider.com/the-mba-effectively-does-nothing-it-has-no-impact-2010-10?op=1

        • adks12020

          Believe me I agree. The fact is that most employers don’t see it that way. If anything employers are becoming even more dependant on diplomas in order to determine qualifications for jobs.  Take a look at job boards.  Virtually every good paying job has BA, BS, MA, MS, or MBA as a requirement for applicants.

  • adks12020

    Underemployed is right. I’m 31 and I know many people from 25-35. At least half (maybe more) are working jobs in fields other than the degree they earned and in many cases working jobs that dont even require a college degree. 

  • Brianne Fokine

    I graduated in 2008, because I took a semester off I walked in May but received my diploma a week before the market crash.

    I had a 3.9 gpa and worked full time throughout college to try and keep my debt down. Since graduation I have never been employed full time.

    Luckily in 2009 I got married to a dedicated, hardworking man who will do whatever it takes to support me. 7 months ago I became a mother and stay home with my little boy. I have found satisfaction and joy as a mom and homemaker! Something I NEVER would have thought.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aeforrister Allyson Forrister

    New graduates are no longer considered experts in their fields.

  • http://www.facebook.com/emily.h.lacroix Emily Harvey Lacroix

    Don’t count out the liberal arts too much! Knowing how to learn new material and new skills and communicate well is hugely valuable to employers.

     My fiance and I are both very well employed. We are a 2010 grad in English and a 2011 grad in Studio Art.  We got these jobs because we are flexible, willing to learn, and had proved it through internships. We were also very lucky to find opportunities to prove ourselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.koenigsberg Andy Koenigsberg

    At this time, if you want to “invest” in college it is imperative that you go for a degree that will get you a career. My son is very good at math and science and has seen what happened to his step siblings. The one with a liberal arts degree is still floundering 4 years after graduation with part time jobs with no benefits and the other with a science degree is employed at a biotech firm and doing well. He has decided to study engineering.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553976850 Kelly Rush

    I pay avid attention the Harvard Business Review postings through LinkedIn and a variety of other articles by “experts” and find that they are completely contradictory to what is actually happening.  They preach that a global economy requires the critical thinking skills provided by a liberal arts education; that they look for the “soft skills” as hard skills can be taught.  

    But the reality of their practice shows that they really aren’t practicing what they preach.  

  • CatInBoston

    I thought an advanced degree in a technical field (MS Mechanical Engineering) would help… so far, no luck.

  • sickofthechit

    I have little sympathy for the college grads who took on loans so that they could live off campus. party, and put off until tomorrow their responsibility for their poor decisions.  College is affordable if you make a rational reasoned decision about where to go and how.  You may not like living at home, but it is cheaper.  charles a. bowsher

    Amen to required Internships!

  • JobExperience

    So you despise generalized prosperity but embrace the wealth gap intensifying. Look, you’re on the dock and done missed the ferry. So now you want to pay the fares of the rich guys who cut in front of us. You’re strange. (Intended as reply to Kyle Schneider’s shallow comprehension of US history)

  • CarlontheCape

    My degree in history led directly to my career in the trucking industry … sitting at the rest stop, updating my digital log book and waiting for the ten hours off road clock to time out so I can get this trailer to Baltimore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/M-Katherine-Jones/100000704283821 M Katherine Jones

    In my experience in numerous small towns in Idaho you have to be of a certain faith to get a job. Unfair, unethical, but I for one, would not join a church to get a public school job. I have two degrees in education. Minimal experience. 

  • sharlyne1

    Colleges and universities need to stop increasing annual tuition. The cost of college never pays off, even when one selects a degree(s) that does provide a return on investment. It doesn’t matter what degree an individual chooses in today’s economy. Doctors, lawyers, engineer, biochemists, etc are still in astronomical debt even though those are employable industries. It’s all directly related to the cost of school. Private student loan debt depresses this generation and those after us and will continue to do so for decades to come. 
    Several grads have put aside their delusions of gradeur. We are the most over educated admins, secretaries, retail workers, sales associates, pizza deliverers, etc. We are willing to work and take anything while applying over and over for a “decent” job. Companies still aren’t paying new grads enough to keep up with the cost of their educational loans. So long as employers pay peanuts for degrees that are averaging $80,000 or more upon graduation, this economy will never recover. Between the cost of education and picky employers this generation is going no where except deeper in debt. 

  • Molly Pittman

    18 y/o’s should not be allowed to borrow as much as they currently can. When I was looking for colleges in 2007, my mother, who put herself through college in the 70′s, said I shouldn’t worry about money because everything could be worked off or I could get a job and work my way through. Her perspective was obviously informed by a different time when that was still possible. But when I chose the University of Vermont (pictured above, a school that actually SUCKS at providing financial aid because it’s too focused on unnecessary building projects that hike tuition, why are universities trying to be resorts at the expense of their students?!?), I had no idea what 55k meant. Now I feel helpless. If I wanted a job in my intended field I would need more school. I can barely cover my own monthly expenses on an hourly wage (On another note, why haven’t we raised the minimum wage to at least catch up with inflation? There are still jobs paying $7.25, which, I can personally assure you, do not cover ballooning rent prices). What a terrible system.

  • ratlans

    My advice to recent college grads: Be flexible, and persistent. Be willing to face brutal rejection from potential employers. I have worked at the same company for three years, I started as an intern, was offered a part-time position, and now I have a full-time position with benefits. However, it took me two years and three interviews at the same company before I got the job. It was horrible to be rejected over and over but I never gave up. At the third interview in one year, I was offered a job and now my husband stays at home with the kids while I work. Also, I still don’t have my associates degree. I applied for a job I thought I would never get, I said what the heck and wrote an email about how great I was and nailed the interview. Confidence goes a long way, fake it til you make it

  • Jim

    graduates have two hurdles:

    1. student debt (loans)

    2. (many) arrogant employers

    my solutions: ban the non-profit label from colleges/universities. who are we kidding? non-profit?

    eliminate tax subsidies on corporations who do not hire locally.

  • http://twitter.com/alexthe_great_ Alex Fortney

    I have been one of the very lucky ones. I’m 24, and have had steady employment as a full-time graphic designer in Nashville since I graduated in December of 2010. I’m now in my second job, actually (though I narrowly escaped a layoff in 2011). 

    I feel like there are two things that have contributed to my luck – one is the college I went to, and the other is that the field I’m in (design) is growing.

    I went to a private design school in a Nashville suburb. The entire student body was less than 200, and most of the professors were full-time design professionals. The curriculum I went through was much more specific to the field than the design programs some of my other friends were in at state schools. The college I went to REQUIRED us to take an internship, and encouraged taking more than one. It was through my internship that I found my first job. 

    Specializing definitely helps job prospects. So does private school. I graduated with 12 other students in 2010, and almost all of us had jobs at the time of graduation. All had jobs within six months of graduating. 

  • Jodie Jacobson

    I graduated with a Liberal Arts degree from the University of Texas in 2007. I had my internships in college, but still had no clue what I wanted to do with my life after graduation. I tried community college (for free because of my ACT score) to take pre-reqs for Occupational Therapy grad school but made the decision before applying that I didn’t want to go into deep debt. Luckily in 2008 I landed a job with popular tech company’s retail store and 5 years later after perseverance and hard work, I now work for their corporate office back in Austin. 

    My advice: Be willing to work HARD and think outside the box. I never thought after 4 years of college and a failed year of “soul searching”, I’d work in a mall. But that retail job taught me more about the power of connecting with people than technology, and I’m thankful that I didn’t waste more time and money on school. I think 5 years of moving up the ladder with the same company will mean just as much or more as that graduate degree. 

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    Sounds like schools and companies have really let vast numbers of students down.  

    Now that lawyers and bankers aren’t the be-all-end-all careers for many, we’re discovering how much has been left on the table, and left undone.

    Now, we’ll scramble re-invent the wheel and be saddled with attendant costs in overcoming a huge learning curve. 

    Why not adapt the well-charted industrial / educational pathways in Germany or Sweden to name just two?

    • Miss_Lilianna

       Or Spain…oh wait, their economy is failing.

  • sik4toyz

    What is your guest talking about?!!

    I would pay forever, and probably will, for my education, simply because it was the most amazing thing I had accomplished with my life. Also, and we seem to forget this in every single discussion about money and education — what I gained in terms of knowledge, the world, my place in things, confidence — is PRICELESS.
    Can we please stop whining about college debt?

    This is NOT like a mortgage – when you hit a rough patch, most student loans allow you to post pone or go into “forbearance”… It is not like credit card debt, which is fueled IMHO by greed and other things.
    Education is the difference between feeling helpless in any situation and having the fortitude to THINK your way thru it.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Character does not come from colleges.

    • Miss_Lilianna

       Just what every wants, to go into forbearance on loans!! What will we do after that? Take a sabbatical from out job at dunkin donuts?

  • ratlans

    My advice to recent college grads: Be flexible, and persistent. Be willing to face brutal rejection from potential employers. I have worked at the same company for three years, I started as an intern, was offered a part-time position, and now I have a full-time position with benefits. However, it took me two years and three interviews at the same company before I got the job. It was horrible to be rejected over and over but I never gave up. At the third interview in one year, I was offered a job and now my husband stays at home with the kids while I work. Also, I still don’t have my associates degree. I applied for a job I thought I would never get, I said what the heck and wrote an email about how great I was and nailed the interview. Confidence goes a long way, fake it til you make it

  • adks12020

    Ok, lets make this short. Those of us that aren’t interested in math, science, engineering, etc. either have to do it anyway or live with the fact that we are at a disadvantage from the start and probably won’t ever catch up. Plain and simple.  My area has a large number of technical jobs available in nano science, engineering, biotech, etc. The problem is I’ve never had any interest in those fields. I was always good at math in school but I hated it more than any other subject.

  • Kyle

    Agreed. Work at the local restaurant, live modestly, and do a few internships. You’ll be employable.

    (Reply to sickofthechit)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1574570440 Eugenia Mcallister

    Thanks Tom for having me on air today. I think our conversation will make a difference to those seeking additional resources after college self-help resources.

  • sickofthechit

    There are many people talking about raising the retirement age for Social Security with little thought about what that would do to youth unemployment.  Think about it.  Why not institute a steadily reducing work week for the Seniors while the new grads transition from a few days a week to eventual full time?
    charles a. bowsher

    • JobExperience

       Now you’re thinking! Is that allowed in Kentucky?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=39603271 Charlie Cushing

    Is the increasing rate of autodidacticism worth mentioning here?
    An increasing number of people are finding that KhanAcademy and other FREE online education resources are providing nearly the same level of education.
    Perhaps the future of our country could benefit from a push in that direction?

    • JobExperience

       Autoeroticism is way up too… but it doesn’t create jobs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1605881770 Becky MacDougall Chen

    My husband just finished 13 years of training to be a pathologist (MD and PhD) and now cannot find a full time position in the saturated Boston health care job market.  A lot of his colleagues are now saying the extra education is not worth the time investment – you should just become a PA (physician’s assistant) and make more money in less time.  

    • JobExperience

       I guess the murder rate is way down.

    • notafeminista

      Lots of GPs needed in rural areas.

  • Kyle

    If you cut in line you should go to the back. If you commit illegal acts you should be punished… How was I arguing otherwise?

    (Reply to JobExperience)

    • JobExperience

      Another deficit of vocationalism. You take everything literally.

      • Nate Hill

        What a cocky, classist comment. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/robin.moore.739326 Robin Moore

    I have a BA in anthropology and psychology. After I graduated in 2010, I was unable to find any jobs in my field. After working as a janitor for two and a half years, I was extremely fortunate to have the resources to quit my job and become a full time accounting student in another BA program. I am very glad I have a liberal arts background, but at my college, no one talked to me about how to translate my degree into job skills, and I did not know to seek out research internships or teacher assistanceships that would have made me attractive to a grad school. I wish there was more of a focus on job skills even among liberal arts programs; it is very hard to make a living with a liberal arts-type degree, but it would be less hard if schools required students to also focus on building useful job skills throughout school. 

    • JobExperience

       Anthropology could be valuable if we didn’t have such a monetarily focused society.

      • notafeminista

        How do you propose to compensate the anthropologists?

    • brettearle

      One of the points you raise, by implication, is that your own ambition hadn’t developed to the point where you took initiative to seek out ways to find appropriate positions, in your own liberal-arts fields.

      And that is somewhat understandable:

      If you’re a student, and you haven’t faced the reality of employment, the Enclave of an academic institution can shelter you away from the impulse of ambition or even initiative.

      I certainly think that you are dead-on accurate about the lack of practical job-skills training in liberal arts institutions and a deficit in practical counseling, in  colleges, for opportunities that will advance you forward, generally, such as with internships.

      Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon the student, as well, to take more initiative to recognize that such advancement EXISTS.

      Schools need to train students in the issue of Motivation, Initiative, and Ambition as well as preparing them in any number of other ways.

      Liberal arts institutions are preoccupied with the passion of Ideas, not with how to fill out a W2 form.

      • notafeminista

        No no no!

        1)Learn to read and write.  Learn to construct a sentence. Know the components of a sentence like nouns, verbs (and their tenses), the correct use of your,you’re,there,they’re,their and it’s and its.  Spell correctly. Learn context, syntax, and usage. It’s called communication for a reason.

        2)Learn basic math.  Learn to count change back.   If my bill is 7.43 and I give you 10.03 in payment, what change should I get?  If I want to tip the Starbucks barista 15% on my $7 latte, how much do I give him or her? Get off the plastic and learn to balance a checkbook.

        3)Learn what a budget is and then make one. Luxuries and necessities become abundantly clear.

        All these things a high school kid can and should learn.  Unfortunately your last statement is horrifyingly true.

        • brettearle

          The comment above mine was lamenting on how the student couldn’t build a career, after graduation.

          Not on the issue of basic skills. 

          Her comment had much more to do with opportunities, where basic skills might have been a given; but where the knowledge of these opportunities were not presented to her.

          I therefore dwelled on what schools ought to provide, in terms of students taking more initiative, in finding such opportunities….

          ….where basic skills were ALREADY a given in her case and in similar cases.

          Doesn’t mean basic skills shouldn’t be emphasized, however, where it is proved as lacking. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1574570440 Eugenia Mcallister

    Thanks Tom for having me on air today. I think our conversation will make a difference to those seeking additional resources self-help resources after college. I am a older student who selected to go to the best University for my current field in library science and yes I have student loans that I will be paying even after I’m in heaven. Nevertheless, planning & education is the best way to outline ones life passion.

    • JobExperience

      You mean well but with  structural unemployment the success of one means failure for one or two others.
      Your methods only intensify unbearable competition for scraps. Why not teach cooperation instead? Is it the money panic?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=677926978 Nate Hill

        The comma is your friend.

  • Eric Herot

    The “aim lower” points being made here are *extremely* cynical.  The reason our dropout rate is so high is not that “college is not for everyone.”  Instead it’s that our high schools are not preparing people well for college.  In virtually every study ever done, people with four year degrees are better off than people with less schooling.  If people don’t *want* to go to college, then that’s ok, but if they do, we should absolutely be stepping up to give them the preparation they need and, more importantly, HELPING THEM PAY FOR IT.

    • JobExperience

       REM said it so well “Aim high, shoot low.”
      The real deal is Falling  Empire.
      The individual cannot adjust any more than those trapped in the imploding World Trade Centers.

  • burroak

          I know it is just dreaming; but what economic bloodlines would be revived if this country embarked on something grandiose. We had the birth of the auto, airplane, space industries, how about the birth of high-speed rail.
          Slate magazine published an article yesterday title “High-speed trains in the United States: Is Alfred’s Twu’s fantasy map too fantastical?”
         How many business would benefit? Engineering, graphic design, architecture, management, safety, retail shops, food?
          Maybe a national project that ushered in a new age of greener, quieter, less congested, and technological advanced way of travel; that perhaps might alleviate those multiple-hour daily commutes. 
         Lots of brainstorming welcomed, both pros and cons.
         Fifty years ago someone dreamed about walking on the moon; now we have a space industry that employs how many?  
         

    • Eric Herot

       …or how about an interstate highway project?

      It’s hard to see how we’d ever achieve that in this country with so many people now convinced that “government is the enemy” and so many politicians mainly in the pocket of a few special interests and not caring about actually improving anything at all.

  • Isernia

    On internships: Many companies exploit the unemployed college graduates by the following ways (l) giving them tasks that are not increasing the intern’s skills…repetitive stuff that could be done by a high school drop-out i.e. cheap labor (2) internship instead of full time employment, thereby saving the firm having to pay for Social Security, health insurance, etc. (3) offer no pay whatsoever while promoting the “experience” motivation.
        Wouldn’t it be best for the Federal/State government to offer tax relief to companies who provide expert training and skills thereby encouraging quality internship programs.  That is. subsidize interns in the workplace but only for a limited time …a year for example.  Then the company/institution can decide whether or not to hire the young person and the new graduate gets some meaningful hands-on experience.

  • Christopher Beck

    Great conversation. I graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in Architecture. To say the least, the job market was awful only 2 years after the financial crisis. However, regardless of the economic situation, I was determined to do service for at least a year, and after searching for quite a while, I found a construction/volunteer management position at a rebuilding non-profit in New Orleans through AmeriCorps. 

    Almost three years later, I have been given more responsibility than I ever would have in a traditional job (such is the nature of a non-profit), met many individuals in different social/racial/economic groups who I never would have interacted with other wise, and am now headed back to graduate school this fall with a whole new skill set that will diversify me as an architectural student. 

    And most importantly, I will be married to a wonderful woman who I met here as well. All in all, thinking outside the traditional career path box can take you quite far.

  • homebuilding

    Late in the show, one of Tom’s guests mentioned a CA school principal who wanted NO HS graduates working in the field of auto manufacturing and maintenance.

    What a pig headed person totally ill-suited to preparing youths for a very diverse society with myriad vocational possibilities!

    Obviously, this person knows nothing of how CA is a world leader in the invention and manufacture of ‘hot rod’ parts and the extensive and perpetual field of parts and accessories design, manufacture, installation, etc.  Of course, every youth that masters auto painting or mechanical work can move rapidly to entrepreneurial self-employment options, as well.  And most definitely, YES, science, chemistry, math, and physics are all needed in improving rubber compounds, battery storage, more efficient fuels combustion, etc.  (GEARHEADS with ability will get these positions–and they’ll need hundreds of lesser educated buddies to help in the implementation)

    This person knows nothing of major, modern electrical power generation plants that now have major components imported from China, rather simply because ‘gearhead’ positions are not well known, let alone respected.   Ditto, the major underground boring machines from China, now headed for Seattle, where a sub-grade highway (60 feet in diameter) is to be dug and built.

    NEVER, NEVER EVER BLAME public education or teachers for poor outcomes, so long as closed-minded nincompoops such as this are in charge of anything!  For now, I guess principals are entitled to their imaginary life where stuff magically appears at their door from some amazon site and their toaster automatically glows when plugged in–but they’re not entitled to lead or administer anything.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    What can not be sustained will stop.
     
    FTA:
    Credit-rating firm Equifax said $3.5 billion in government and private student loans went bad in the first three months of 2013, the most since the company began keeping track. The U.S. Department of Education said 6.8 million federal student loan borrowers are now in default, representing $85 billion in debt. And the department’s systems for collecting the bad loans are struggling to keep up.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/100598257

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=582056638 Carlos Alden

    Great program. My two kids are in college and I feel that I have sold them a bridge in Brooklyn about the career value of a four-year education. 

     don’t believe this is about “aiming lower.”  I have seen in my kids’ educational career a huge lopsided push towards “everyone should be in college” to the detriment of the trades and a subtle yet real denigration towards anyone who does not choose that. I used to believe that, too, until I really opened up and met many tradespeople who were just as intelligent, just as interesting, and just as deep as four-year graduates, but they had solid and steady careers in their chosen fields, making plenty of income.  I talked with my appliance repairmen about philosophy, listened to my heater maintenance man play some killer blues licks on the guitar he carried in his truck, and worked professionally with a musician who has a day job pouring concrete.  We must get past the snobbery that comes with higher education and honor the wide range of vocations at many levels that are needed in our country. THEN we can begin to encourage and offer viable career paths that require different kinds of education.

    • Eric Herot

       Just as soon as everyone who wants a four year degree is able to get one, I will buy into this argument.  Right now the rest of the developed world is sending all of their kids to college basically for free.  These are the people we are competing with.

      Remember: There is really no down side to being a college educated plumber, but there is one major upside: It makes changing careers a lot easier in the event that you need to (e.g. if your job suddenly becomes obsolete, as many trades have over the last 50 years).  The only problem is all of the debt we’re saddling people with.  If we solved that problem (by restoring funding to our public colleges and universities), the issue of having to get a college degree to become a secretary would become as much of a non-issue as getting a high school diploma.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=582056638 Carlos Alden

        Absolutely true, Eric. I am not against higher education for the learning value and life enrichment it gives but rather the career development value. I’d love to see more college easily available for people who want it, as well as specific job training availability, too. More viable and honored options. 

  • Adrian_from_RI

    During the thirties the government’s New Deal programs caused great misery and high unemployment. To fight unemployment FDR created the Work Projects Administration and people could find jobs in the WPA labor camps.  Maybe President Obama should learn from FDR and bring back the WPA labor camps.  For those who are curious why we are in the economic pickle we are in I suggest you read a book by a bank CEO, John Allison “The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure. How destructive banking reform is killing the economy.”

  • brettearle

    I do not believe that I heard an emphasis on the cliche, “people
    skills.”

    Are not some of the core essentials for success, to include getting along with others; having `emotional intelligence’; being well-liked; and going along, to get along?

    Don’t know if this ought to be emphasized, in a school of higher learning, or not.  but it ought to be considered, based on what’s happening in the workplace, these days.

    But more and more, it seems to me, that if one is well-liked, one will go further.

    [On the other hand, how many jerks do we know who are in jobs with high management responsibility?  Anybody see the article in NYT, the other day, about the speaker for the New York City Council?]

    Now, while these personal requirements may make some automatons, and others may not choose to conform or can’t conform, the idea of expecting people to drop out and become Steve Jobs is about as realistic as Justin Timberlake becoming director of the CIA.

  • BuildingTrades

    Great Show.  Its about time we focused on the 2/3rd of our workforce that don’t have a college degree.  America’s building trades unions invest $1 Billion a year in apprenticeship training at no cost to the apprentice.  Thousands of hrs of comprehensive training both in the classroom and on the job. (more than someone with a BA).  The result is a highly skilled & productive workforce that earns good wages and benefits for a lifetime.  College is fine but it’s not for everyone as the stats bear out.  We need to stop trying to shoehorn every kid into a 4 yr degree program.  We also need to show respect for the skill and hard work of the 2/3rds of Americans who don’t go to college.

  • BuildingTrades

    Great Show.  Its about time we focused on the 2/3rd of our workforce that don’t have a college degree.  America’s building trades unions invest $1 Billion a year in apprenticeship training at no cost to the apprentice.  Thousands of hrs of comprehensive training both in the classroom and on the job. (more than someone with a BA).  The result is a highly skilled & productive workforce that earns good wages and benefits for a lifetime.  College is fine but it’s not for everyone as the statistics bear out.  We need to stop trying to shoehorn every kid into a 4 yr degree program.  We also need to show respect for the skill and hard work of the 2/3rds of Americans who don’t go to college.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Colin-Santos/1074522271 Colin Santos

    Do people really expect to get their dream job right out of school? Don’t we all have to work sub-opitmal jobs to build a career?

  • TomK_in_Boston

    RWB, you really freaked out over my suggestion that it might be a good idea to try something besides voodoo econ. You have no business talking about “articles of faith” when you are absolutely, positively certain that high taxes and regulation had absolutely, positively nothing to do with our former broad prosperity. Can you really not see that?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      You are big on that Freudian projection thing.   

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Keep up the facade of reasonableness, my friend. It’s ugly when you let it slip.

  • 2Gary2

     The problem is the private insurance companies who take a big cut of healthcare spending while providing zero value.  Where do you think all the money to pay the CEO, and VP’s come from?  EVERY dollar spent on these grossly overpaid scum is a dollar less for healthcare.

    Every country who is betting the USA in outcomes has some form of public option.

    Of course the scum politicians get bribes from the ins companies so nothing will change.  At least not peacably

  • 2Gary2

     I can’t understand why people vote for walker, who is an obvious fraud and failure, when it is in their own financial interest to not vote for him???

  • http://twitter.com/maryTCI Mary Vogel

    A building trades apprenticeship - the “other 4 degree” – offers a pathway to a family-sustaining career with good benefits and growth opportunities.  Out of 100 kids only 50 will go on to college and only half will graduate. And only one of those 25 college graduates will make more in their lifetime than an average building trades workers. Apprentices earn while they learn and in the union sector, do not pay for their training. And, many union apprenticeship programs have articulation agreements with 2- and 4-year colleges that allow them to earn college credit during their apprenticeship. Apprenticeship is a tried and true workforce development and training model that should be embraced by other industry sectors.

  • twenty_niner

    Peter Schiff has some good research on this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXpwAOHJsxg

  • learningandthinking

    Internships are amazing opportunities, but most require a lot of unpaid time. As a college student, I didn’t have the money to not work for a summer and work for nothing. Not to mention, that if you need/want college credit for the internship, they are charging you full price for those credits. 

    To replace that internship, I was very involved and did everything I could possibly do to gain experience in college. It was a great experience, but it just doesn’t add up to some of those internships that friends have had. I am not four years out of college and not working in my field and am still being told that I should look into internships and fellowships. This is definitely not an option for me. I volunteer and try to network, but it is a challenge still. It very much depends on what you studying, but many unpaid internships just aren’t an option for some. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Rice/100000693874282 Joseph Rice

    I really enjoyed the coments by Arianna Huffington. Great model for these young graduates: Write book (and have to battle plagiarism charges); marry and divorce a millionaire; develop a business model that relays on people writing for little or no pay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1155042916 Mike Hanson

    How about young people getting degrees and, dare I even say it, technical certificates that employers are actually looking for. Being a petroleum engineer or an alloy welder might not be as cool as a pre columbian anthropology grad, but at least you wont have to work at starbucks.  

  • jimino

     Gee, does this have anything to do with job problems?

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fredgraph.png?g=gXz

  • VinceD2

    Well, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, and offending the NPR ideologues,  excessive immigration is a major problem contributing to unemployment.

    H1B visas have displaced many thousands of technical workers. And no, foreign engineers are not somehow superior, they are cheaper. At my former employer, they actively sought foreigners over American workers, cast and the fact that they could be worked abusively were the reasons.

    Building trades? Illegal aliens have displaced many thousands of these workers. 7 million illegals are taking good jobs that Americans would do for a fair wage.

    Even during this depression, 100,000 legal immigrants per month have been admitted. This is insanity.

    So Tom/NPR, why is it that you promote amnesty for illegals, open borders and stapling a green card to college diplomas? Perhaps after this show, if you read this, you will see that YOU are promoting unemployment among Americans with your constant push for open borders.

    • H1B

       It sounds like you are not good enough for anything and blaming it on other people hahaha feel sorry for you.

      • VinceD2

        Wrong, and your post is nothing but a hateful personal attack.

        I am sick of seeing exploitative employers abusing H1B and American workers, and sick of our government assisting this nonsense.

  • Laura Priebe

    Jobs are created by people.  With the lack of available jobs, couldn’t this mean that the people creating jobs are going in the wrong direction, not with the interests of the people.  Could lack of skilled jobs mean that hiring is being done elsewhere or with a lack of interest with American citizens?

  • Kathryn Humiston

    Great program! I would like to share it with my 24-yr old daughter, who graduated magna cum laude last May with degrees in Global Studies (Asian) and Japanese and is working in the kitchen of a cheap-food restaurant chain, but I think she would be even more worried/depressed about her prospects.

  • Miss_Lilianna

    Cynical 24 year old chiming in here.

    All of my friends who went to college and actually WANTED to work found employment in less than a year after graduation. They work in offices doing marketing, HR, or admin work. Some went into nursing and had jobs upon graduation.

    All of my aquientences that went to college and couldn’t find their dream job or wanted to avoid a “desk job” or an uncool job at all costs are unemployed or temping YEARS after graduation. They act like its their only option, but I can tell they are all still comfortable mooching off of and being fully supported by their baby boomer parents who have spoiled them and built up false “self-esteem” for their grown children. I know many people who are 26 and 27, and yet still seem mentally adolescent because their hippie parents won’t nudge them out of the nest.

    • Tyranipocrit

       ur full of it

      • http://www.facebook.com/nate.baum.5 Nate Baum

        A little bit so full of it, but I think there is some truth to this. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1832314759 JoAnn Sullivan

    I am part of the baby boomer generation and an unemployed environmental science university professor. A PhD in environmental science and geography but I’m unable to find work. I also have a bachelors degree in electrical engineering.    I have actually been looking at entry level engineering jobs in competition with the new grads.   

    The common response from employers is I have too much experience.

    Can someone address the effect that baby boomers looking work is affecting new graduate job searches

    • VinceD2

       Thank our wonderful government, they gave away H1B visas so foreigners could take our jobs for much less pay.

      • Samuel Walworth

        With all due respect, I did search on Monster.com with the subject Environmental Engineering, and I got a return of 642 jobs, now considering the fact that most of them JoAnn wouldn’t be able to apply anyway, lets assume 10% she can actually apply for, and even that is a good number.

        Just blaming everything on H-1B and sitting on it won’t get anyone any jobs.

        I work in IT Sector (more into Telecommunications) and as far as I know, there is not a Single H-1B in my area in my profession, yet we have ALWAYS struggled to get even a decent candidate for interview, let alone consider him/her as a viable candidate.

        The issue lies with in our society, where in now a days, most of the graduating college class students have no Idea what they want to do in life in terms of career.

        If at all if someone asks, the most common reply I have always found is “I dont know”.

        Until a lot of us start considering serious planning and preparation for our careers right from high schools classes I dont see much of the hope.

        Oh, by the way, that doesn’t mean that our conglomerates would suffer, because they can easily hire anyone across the borders (be it Mexico, Ireland, Philippines or India)

  • C1are

    As a grad student who has had internships, I think they’re overrated and during a recession aren’t indicators of talent or interest in a career path.  Here are a few contentions:1. Students are going to be working for the REST OF THEIR LIVES.  In college, they should be allowed to focus on learning that which cannot be properly taught or learned on the job. Is there no reward for saving our parents money by graduating on time and meeting life goals in a timely, fiscally-responsible manner?2. You don’t learn THAT much in 1 semester/summer, yet an internship is often a dealbreaker. I learned more applicable skills for architecture while working in retail than I did drafting fire escapes in one summer internship.3. Entry-level responsibilities for many careers are very different for each company, and employers end up spending just as much time training new employees regardless of internship experience4. Most of the students who got internships during the recession have parents or other connections in the field OR worked for free, both of which raise serious social justice and ethics questions….and that’s all I have to say about that.

  • http://mirroronamerica.blogspot.com/ Brian E.

    Annoyed by the fact that DOMA is dominating the national debate. The issue of jobs and the struggle of college graduates should be at the forefront. Unfortunately the Obama administration has not done enough to make this issue a priority. They are too busy looking for more wars for the U.S. to get into. 

    - Brian
    Missouri

    Twitter (at) Bryon592

  • http://www.facebook.com/nate.baum.5 Nate Baum

    I think everyone’s got a lotta good points and Tom, as per usual, you had a solid production of this episode. A couple of things I’d like mention is that there are a few overall structures that often get overlooked. 

    I only caught half the episode so bear with me but a little more needs to be said than just “don’t choose liberal arts majors” and “get internships”.
    In regards to the don’t choose liberal arts measures it’s just that things  depend so much. I think the key comes down to making the most of your education for the best prices as possible, especially as so many schools and institutions are trying to destroy you.
    If you major in English at a school that you get great financial aid for and you’re  able to branch out into relevant career experiences while not having too many loans afterwards, that seems pretty good versus if you get a bio degree that leaves you with $90,000 to pay back at the end and  you didn’t do anything off campus to set yourself apart.

    With internships, that being said, I think it would be great if we campuses did encourage people to do more service learning and project based learning as it  has intrinsic value, but if everyone has some internship then the value of that internship decreases. Just keep that in mind.

    Underlying this is the structure of our society and economic needs that has rapidly changed and continues to do so with little ability to predict what we’ll need 5 – 10 years down the road. I think it’s key to make sure you don’t have staggering amounts of debt and you have good experience (work, educational, technical,). Having good skills that broad is also just very helpful.

    Furthermore, I certainly think this is a crucial issue. Fareed Zakaria pointed out in an article in Foreign Affairs that for ever 1 dollar we spend on someone 18 and under we spend 4 dollars on somebody 65 and older. This doesn’t completely correlate into a tough job market for graduating teens, but I think there is less diffused and accessible opportunity for our generations then previous ones.

    I also think that it’s such a dynamic and diverse job market that there isn’t as clear cut away of always getting into it. Connections are key as many guests have said, but I think this isn’t that fair as some people will have great connections based on where they are and others won’t. So for the time being it’s important to work on networking, but there should be better, more transparents and straighforward H.R. practices that make it more efficient to enter the workforce and for employers to screen potential employees. 

    I think our job market, political and social institutions are dropping the ball on a lot of key issues in regards to supporting our labor market. We certainly need to have more  innovation and investment in education, and infrastructure.  We need to create a more malleable and adaptable workforce, but those who are older need to do what can be impossible and be ready to give up some of their wealth, power and privilege so that we can invest in future generations. We’re all in trouble if we don’t.
     

  • sjw81

    agree this bubble is just like the housing one , it will pop, this debt cant be paid back, and the collapse of this corrupt higher ed system will happen. then all will point fingers at each other . who knew a liberal arts degree at BC for 200k in loans would not land a decent job in this economy?!! oh and the college presidents and football coaches, still make millions…

  • Bill Loveless

    There’s another interesting discussion about the value of liberal-arts education in the winter 2013 Boston College magazine, called “Intelligent Life: The Case for religion in liberal education.” It’s by Nathan Hatch. Might be worth a segment.

  • Regular_Listener

    To the girl who called in with a graduate degree in poetry who has not found a job commensurate with her skills – I just wanted to let you know that I understand how you feel.  You are not alone.  But maybe things like poetry, theatre, and fine arts have a value of their own, regardless of whether you can find a way to make them pay.  Certainly enough people love them to support this view.

  • ExcellentNews

    It is moral to saddle a young person with $150,000 irrevocable debt at 17% interest rate over 30 years (when the jobs are in slave-labor countries anyway) ???

    Who cares, when this buys a 50-year old bottle of Chateau De Rotschild de Laffitte for an evening out with luxury escorts for the private bankers and their Republican shills in Congress…

    Welcome to the New Plutocracy!

    • ExcellentNews

      But hey, here is a great new idea for our corporate “job creators” – 15 year unpaid internships. When the interns turn 40, they can be downsized. Just thinking about it is probably worth a $50,000,000 extra bonus for the CEO…

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