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


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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