New College Grads Face Challenges in Unemployment Lines

How 2009 College Grads Will Be Affected

The recession has spared few in our American economy and the proverbial unemployment line is diverse—every race, sex, creed is represented quite well. For some the situation poses unique challenges. Consider the challenges faced by millions of fresh college grads hitting the job market without a prayer in hell for a job even close to what they dreamed of, if a job at all.

Already the unemployment mud-pit is brimming with out of work professionals packing a college education and years of experience under their belts. In December 2008 the number of “unemployed college grads seeking work [was] at an all time high,” reported CNNMoney, so many that it begged the contrast between grads versus high-school “drop-outs.” Grads won.(1)

Challenging Job Pool

This seething pool of experienced and hard-core unemployed has big professional chops going for it. Many have resumes as long as your arm and are putting themselves out there for every job that comes open, even jobs they haven’t had to work since THEY graduated. This gritty Welcome Wagon will be greeting the next wave of 2009 college graduates come May.

Challenging Financial Situations

Consider this: you must have been laid off from a job to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

That’s the catch-22 for new grads. What if they cannot find the jobs they’ve studied for? What if the job offers they’ve already been extended fall through? What if they can’t find a job at all?

You can’t even argue that the typical college student has no major bills to pay because federal student loans come due 6-months after graduation (that’s a grace period to be thankful for). Average debt is $19,200.

Lowering Career Expectations

The difference between most brand new college graduates and their very experienced cohorts is expectation. A college student in her final semester of a business degree has prepared herself to hit the ground running, dreamt of making waves in her field. Those hopes are largely battered on most campuses (2) and particularly in any major related to finance.

In February 2009 the National Association of Colleges and Employers announced that the salary offers being made to this year’s graduating class were “flat.” Then just one month later the news was quite bleaker: “College Hiring Falls 22 Percent,” largely based on the economic storm. Employers have shut-down recruitment. The NACE has measured increases in college hiring for the last 4 consecutive years.(3)

Suffice it to say 2009 college graduation may be laced with a bit less euphoric dreaminess and a bit more reality-check.

1 CNNMoney, Have Degree – And Pink Slip

2 AlterNet, “Is This the Worst Year to Graduate College Ever?”

3 National Association of Colleges and Employers

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