The Jobs Problem

Perhaps all of those unemployed recent college graduates should have started looking for a job before they graduated. According to an article in the (Minnesota) Saint Cloud Times:

College students facing graduation apparently need to start their employment search much earlier if they want a job offer by the time they graduate.

In a tight job market when the unemployment rate for people in their early 20s is in double-digit territory — 14.7 percent in May — college graduates are waiting too long to start their job searches. Many graduate without a job prospect in sight as companies often nail down the new graduates they’ll bring on board in the fall or winter of senior year.

It’s a little unclear what early means or how, really, students should look for jobs in the new economy. One person quoted in the article recommended starting a search nine months before graduation but that seems rather limiting (“well, no, I can’t start this year, what positions will you have open in May?”).

Sure most recent college graduates (three out of four recent Minnesota graduates) are unemployed, that’s because they graduated like two weeks ago. When are they supposed to start looking? Would final exams during the junior year be too late? How about at Thanksgiving senior year?

Still, it’s an important point. Gone are the days when merely a degree was necessary to secure professional employment. Now graduates need a history of internships, not to mention “making contact with employers, taking advantage of social media, networking and using campus career services for resume and interviewing workshops” to try to get jobs.

Sure the economy is supposed to be picking up now, but it’s not picking up too quickly.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer