Undaunted by bleak job prospects

Photo by Dave Herholz, via flickr

Ashley Valentin/Contributing Writer


The Associated Press conducted a study in 2011 on post-grad employment rates, finding that 53.6 percent of those with bachelor’s degrees who were under 25 were either underemployed or jobless.

That statistic is terrifying.

My mom told me my whole life that if I stay in school and get a good education, I’d have a nice job and never have to worry about money. However, like many other students in the Millennial Generation, I quickly learned that graduating with a degree from a good university didn’t equate to a job.

I have witnessed students of all majors graduate and stay unemployed for years. Most of the ones who were employed stayed working at low-paying jobs in chain restaurants and department stores.

The reality is that the job market is very bleak for graduates in the year 2013. There aren’t enough college-level jobs being created to meet the demands of an ever-growing graduate population. And many employers steer clear of recent graduates no matter how well their interviews go, opting for more experienced employees to fill the job.

With job prospects so low for students, many graduates are looking for more creative methods to start a career.

The New York Times reported about one creative method on May 8, highlighting graduate students who buy franchises with their parents. Often times, the people who buy into these franchises are older adults who have been laid off from their jobs and their young graduate children who are unable to find work related to their majors.

While there are no solid statistics on this growing type of business, it is believed that multigenerational franchises are becoming very common.

Paige Palmer, one of the students featured in the article, expressed that after graduating, she found that neither she nor any of her friends were finding work. She called up her stepfather, who had recently been dismissed from his job, and together they decided to open up a franchise.

Why is this significant? Because so many of us spend our lives with a very strict plan for our futures. We believe that staying in school will secure us a future, but the reality is that it doesn’t always. And when we spend our lives set with the idea that everything is going to go exactly as planned, we’re completely blindsided when life doesn’t work out as expected.

I’m majoring in communications and as much as I believe that hard work will get me far, I’m also realistic. Majors that show higher percentages of employment include those involved with engineering, mathematics, sciences, and business management. I’m statistically less likely to get a job. And I’m okay with that because there’s always a solution and, most importantly, always other opportunities to be successful. My success is not determined by whether or not I land a job in my field after I earn my diploma. Instead, it is determined by my dedication to always better my life and the lives around me. We shouldn’t get dismayed at the turn of the job market, but instead embrace it as an opportunity for growth.

Like Palmer, we should turn discouragement into a drive to succeed no matter what life throws at us.




1. “Half of recent college grads underemployed or jobless, analysis says,” via Associated Press 

2. “With Bleak Job Prospects, Parents and Their Children Buy Into Franchises,” The New York Times

3. “Does Your Major Matter?” via Forbes 

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