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Why Are College Students Not Guaranteed a Job after Obtaining a Degree?

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Employment
Wordcount: 2414 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Does getting a college diploma guarantee a job of a lifetime? Some potential college students may find themselves asking, but there are not any guarantees that this may happen. Some people achieve extraordinary success without a diploma, and some people advance because they went to a university and got a college degree for success. Yet, general, unemployment rates are lesser among college graduates. The office of Labor Statistics recently compared unemployment rates among college and high school graduates and discovered that for college graduate’s 2.1 percent have not seen employment while non-graduates are double that at 4.3 percent.

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People in America usually believe that in order to succeed and get the higher paying job one needs to first get a college degree. Although, going to college is not a guarantee of leaving with a successful job. The college panel’s report “Four-year Graduation Rates for Four-year Colleges” shows the proportion of students who completed the college diploma as low as two percent at some schools. These results reflect the amount of success college students receive and also reflects our American economy. Those who move out seems to enter the workforce, but some employers need college diplomas and often receive more pay than those who do not. The business rate for adults ages 20-24 with at least one college diploma (88.1%) is often higher than this rate that of adults with some college credits (75.0 %).  In the article, “The Top Degrees for Getting Hired Right Out of College: Energy Industry Jobs Take A Dive” talks about how graduates with certain degrees are more successful than others due to the career that you are in. The article states, “It turns out, unsurprisingly, that graduates with certain degrees are more successful finding a job right out of school more than others. A study released this month by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a Bethlehem, PA non-profit that links college career placement offices with employers, revealed which graduating bachelor’s degree students in the class of 2015-by college major-were able to find employment within six months of graduating” (Strauss).  Some majors in college job outlooks are increasing and that’s probably why those college graduates are graduating with jobs quicker than others. Other majors in college job outlooks are decreasing because there isn’t need of any more workers in that career field. The article “Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs?” talks about how college graduates are struggling to find jobs within their major. The article states, “Our results show that unemployment and underemployment rates differ markedly across majors: students majoring in fields that provide technical training , such as engineering or math and computers, or majoring in fields that provide technical training , such as engineering or math and computers, or majoring in fields geared toward growing parts of the economy, such as education and health, have tended to do relatively well, even in today’s challenging labor market” (Abel, Dietz, Su 2014). This could also affect the rate of unemployment or underemployment for college graduates because it could be their specific major is declining in job availability. That’s why it’s important that college students research their career, so they’re not stuck being underemployed or unemployed.

Moving to college and having the degree does not necessarily ensure that the individual is going to get the job right after graduation. It is hard out there for new graduates to get a better job since there is a lot of competition because of the increasing availability of the college education. Even if they do get the job, it is not normally what they had in mind of. They have to get some kind of work to give off all the loan that their college training has caused them. Some college students could think that college is the waste of money because they do not see what they need to. In the article, “New York Fed Highlights Underemployment Among College Graduates” talks about how college graduates are underemployed working in jobs that don’t require a college degree. “One explanation for the high rate of unemployment in the college-educated workforce is that for many students, college is more signaling than job preparation. Students earn college degrees to signal their worth to employers and gain an edge over non-college educated applicants competing for the same jobs. This may be a rational private decision for students even if their education has no real-value -added” (Cooper). Basically, stating that students are going to college just, so they can get a job over people who don’t have post-secondary education competing for the same jobs. With more students going to college and graduating with the same majors is decreasing jobs in fields causing competition and some graduates to be underemployed. The article “Major Matters In the job Market for College Graduates” states, “One interesting feature of underemployment, though, is that it is not uniform across all fields of study. Nor do college majors with low rates of underemployment necessarily guarantee high salaries to their graduates” (Cooper).

In the article, “Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs?” talks about how the Great Recession leads to many college graduates struggling to find jobs within their major. The article also talks about how college graduates are graduating from college with no job due to the Great Recession. The article states, “The Great Recession has left many recent college graduates struggling to find a job that utilizes their education” (Abel, Dietz, Su 2014). The Great Recession was a period of time when the economy had a decline between the late 2000s and early 2010s. With that economic decline, it still affects the economy today causing a decrease in job availability leading people to be unemployed or underemployed. If our country is economically in decline, then how can college graduates get the job they want if there are no jobs available. With an economy decline this can affect college graduate’s employment rate. The article also states that” For the period 1990 through the first quarter of 2013, the unemployment rate averaged 4.3 percent for recent college graduates compared with 2.9 percent for all college graduates” (Abel, Dietz, Su 2014).  Due to an economy decline it caused a lot of college graduates to be unemployed. With a decline in the economy it can have a huge effect on the amount of jobs available for people. The article “Why college grads are heading back … to community college” also talks about how the great recession affected many graduates. The author states this by saying “In the aftermath of the Great Recession, thousands of students learned the bitter lesson that the college degrees they paid for do not guarantee a steady job. In response, many have opted for graduate school to give their status, pay, and job security a bump” (Koeppel). If our economy is at a decline it can cause for people to lose jobs or to not become employed, but after time goes by when the economy rises job availability will increase.

College students spend tens of thousands of dollars and a lot of their time pursuing a degree, all in the hopes they will one day obtain their dream job. Students take classes that are supposed to better prepare them for their dream job. Students take classes that are supposed to help them better prepare them for their future career, but those classes often don’t teach them life skills they will need after college. The article “Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs?” talks about how college graduates are not so quick to enter the workforce due to their abilities or feeling like they are not ready for work yet. The article says, “Recent graduates tend to take some time after they graduate to find jobs that fit their education” (Abel, Dietz, Su 2014). While taking the time out to find the job to fit their education they usually get a part-time job or work somewhere that doesn’t require a college degree causing them to be underemployed. The article states, “While these jobs do not require a bachelor’s degree, they tend to be career oriented, relatively skilled, and fairly well compensated. At the other end of the spectrum, low-wage jobs paid an average wage below $25,000 per year in 2012, and include occupations such as bartenders, food server, and cashier” (Abel, Dietz, Su 2014). The article also talks about how recent college graduates are working part-time and how it is rapidly increasing. “By contrast, the share of recent college graduates working part-time rose from around 15 percent in 2000 to 23 percent by 2011, with particularly sharp increases directly following the last two recessions” (Abel, Dietz, Su 2014). So, is college really worth the money? College is great if you want to be successful and have a great-paying job, but with the job outlook decreasing you may not even have a chance to get your dream job.

Furthermore, sudden decreases in job availability could be due to technology advancing. As years go by technology is advancing more and more each day. Which is making it hard for people to get jobs because technology can now do a lot more than it used to back in the day. The writers researched and stated the following “According to this research, businesses ramped up their hiring of college-educated workers in an effort to adapt to the technological changes occurring during the 1980s and 1990s. However, as the information technology revolution reached maturity, demand for cognitive skill fell accordingly. As a result, during the first decade of the 2000s, many college graduates were forced to move down the occupational hierarchy to take jobs typically performed by lower-skilled workers” (Abel, Dietz, Su 2014).  This means that since the advancement of technology college graduates were forced to move down to lesser positions or lose their job.

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While reading these articles it pointed out mainly the negative aspects of graduating with a college degree. It really didn’t point out the strengths of graduating with a college degree. It only pointed out the weaknesses or negative aspects of graduating with a college degree. The article “Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs?” should have explained more positive outcomes and talked about the research of students who graduated with a degree and a job now. Instead, the negative points outweighed the positive outcomes. The negative outcomes of the articles explained how college graduates are losing their jobs and how they are unemployed or underemployed. The positive outcome was that if you graduate with a degree you can get a lifetime job if you chose the major that is in need of labor. Some of the articles also talked about how technological advancement is causing a decrease in job availability and how job readiness can also take into effect when college graduates are trying to find a job. The article should have focused a little more on the positive aspects of the situation rather than convincing the audience that the college doesn’t guarantee a lifetime job.

Even though college is important for financial reasons, job stability, and success because jobs are now requiring more education to join today’s workforce. Going to college to get your degree helps bring in more money because you get a higher income than the people who don’t have a college degree working in the same field. A degree can also provide many benefits in the future like health care, retirement, and traveling. Although, going to college can also cost a lot of money and unfortunately make you go into debt for taking out student loans. Which is a downfall because the money will be getting taken out of your pay causing delays in retirement, buying a house, or even a car. With having a college degree, it can open a lot of doors, but with technology advancement and job availability decreasing in some areas, your degree might not be as important. Overall, students should still go and get their college degree because you will find many opportunities whether it’s your dream job or not. This topic is important to every college student or people who are in school and don’t know if they want to go to college or not. I chose to write this just because I am a college student and I sometimes wonder why I went to college. I just think about how much money school is going to cost me and if I am going to make in my career. The article helped me realize negative viewpoints and a few positive viewpoints of getting a college degree and why college isn’t always what people think it to be. It gave insight on reality and what could happen when I graduate college. Overall, I disagreed with the writers on this article I feel like college is totally worth the money to get your degree even if you are going to be unemployed or underemployed in the future.

Works Cited

  • Cooper, Preston. “New York Fed Highlights Underemployment Among College Graduates.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 July 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/prestoncooper2/2017/07/13/new-york-fed-highlights-underemployment-among-college-graduates/#2fcab78540d8.
  • Koeppel, David. “Why College Grads Are Heading Back…to Community College.” Fortune, Fortune, 20 Nov. 2012, fortune.com/2012/11/20/why-college-grads-are-heading-back-to-community-college/.
  • Strauss, Karsten. “The Top Degrees for Getting Hired Right Out of College: Energy Industry Jobs Take A Dive.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 15 June 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2016/06/10/the-top-degrees-for-getting-hired-right-out-of-college-energy-industry-jobs-take-a-dive/#2ef0c34136d9.
  • Cooper, Preston. “Major Matters in The Job Market for College Graduates.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 17 July 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/prestoncooper2/2017/07/14/major-matters-in-the-job-market-for-college-graduates/#2504ec1f2b63.
  • Abel, Jaison, et al. “Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs?” By Jikun Huang, Ruifa Hu, Scott Rozelle, Fangbin Qiao, Carl E. Pray:: SSRN, 13 Jan. 2014, papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2378472.


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