News of young people’s continuing struggle to get a foothold in the job market might have incoming college students thinking about how to improve their odds after graduation.
If higher education is going to remain relevant, some would argue that the hard reality of today’s economy should also prompt educators to find ways to better prepare young adults for the workplace.
Words of wisdom from a survey of recent college graduates: Be intentional. Do some career research. Get job experience in college.
A nationally representative sample of 444 college graduates from the classes of 2006 through 2011 conducted by Rutgers University researchers finds that nearly two-thirds of graduates said that they would have done something differently in college if they had to do it over. About 37 percent said they would have been more careful when selecting their major.
What major they would have chosen in hindsight? Many said a professional major, such as education, communications, nursing, or social work.
Chasing the American Dream: Recent College Graduates and the Great Recession by Charley Stone, Carl Van Horn, and Cliff Zukin, gives a glimpse into the job-search process and early-workforce experience.
Half the new grads surveyed said they felt less prepared to enter the workforce than the generation before them, and almost two-thirds thought they will need to get more education. One factor that helped:an internship. Those who got real-world work experience in college felt more prepared to enter the job market. Those who had internships also made more money in their first jobs, the report found. Looking back, many the respondents wished they had started their job search much earlier and taken more career- related classes. <Read more.>