A lot is being written about the extraordinary costs of attending a four-year university and the exploding student loan debt our youth are saddled with as they emerge from college. A pernicious companion problem is the lack of good jobs for those entering the workforce clutching a new college diploma.
According to a New York Times analysis:
With more than $1 trillion in student loans outstanding in this country, crippling debt is no longer confined to dropouts from for-profit colleges or graduate students who owe on many years of education, some of the overextended debtors in years past. Now nearly everyone pursuing a bachelor’s degree is borrowing. As prices soar, a college degree statistically remains a good lifetime investment, but it often comes with an unprecedented financial burden.
A recent post from Andrew Sullivan’s blog on the Daily Beast highlights the twin challenges:
That’s bad enough, but when you look at just those people who have graduated since 2009, it gets even worse. Fewer than half of them found a job within a year of graduating; whereas 73 percent of those who graduated between 2006 and 2008 found jobs in the first year. Kids who graduated after 2009 are three times more likely to not have a fulltime job than the kids who finished between 2006 and 2008.
Those who are working aren’t making much:
Employed, post-2009 graduates also have an average starting salary of $27,000, $3,000 less than the average starting salary for the classes of 2006 and 2007; experts estimate that given the fragile state of the post-2009 economy, these wages are likely to stay depressed for the next 10 or 15 years.
Nathaniel Beck compares job prospects across majors.
Today’s graduating seniors not only need a good job because it’s important for them to begin their careers, but because they’ve got to service an extraordinary level of debt. Without a good paycheck, too many students are deferring or outright defaulting on student loans. At $1 trillion in cumulative student debt and counting, it’s in everyone’s best interest that we help graduates find careers after leaving college. There are jobs for graduates, but too often the opportunities don’t find a match either because of geographic issues, a skills gap, or a failure by a graduate to communicate their abilities well.
These problems are why today’s graduates must go beyond a 1-dimensional resume or personal timeline to present themselves in 3-D — in a way that helps them to differentiate themselves and to stand our from the crowd. Pathbrite is on a mission to ensure that students are able to match their skills and abilities to available opportunities, wherever they may find them. Increasingly, young people are using our Portfolios to put their best foot forward and to highlight all the ways in which they may be qualified for a career — from videos to photos, resumes to recommendations or work product to volunteer projects, graduates are telling their own story better using Pathbrite.