Thesis: College’s need a required course that teaches students how to market their degree and network with recruiters.
The future of young adult’s with college educations has a very bleak future in the professional sector. They actually have a harder time finding a job than the total population as a whole. But how does this make sense, considering they have a college education? Well, the answer is probably not what they want to hear.
Matthew A. Winkler of Bloomberg View discusses the problem in his blog, “In New Millennium, No Jobs for Millennials.” He writes:
Economists say it is derived from the growing percentage of people older than 55 who aren’t retiring, the displacement of jobs caused by computers, limited mobility and a lack of the types of skills that employers are seeking.
In addition, Jeffery Sparshott of The Wall Street Journal documents how the Federal Reserve governor, Lael Brainard, views the dilemma:
The Fed governor’s comments on younger Americans who graduated from high school and college during the last downturn highlighted major economic obstacles, including massive layoffs and high unemployment that pushed many into jobs for which they were overqualified or out of the workforce all together.
This means if recent graduates want to find a job they are actually qualified for, they will have to overcome many obstacles. The first two Winkler speak of are essentially out of student’s control. This means the only variable they can control would be their skill-sets.
The only way students can capitalize on new skillsets is through experience. This means young adults will have to spend a lot of time finding an internship that gives them the skills they need to land a job in their field. This means no more working at the golf course or burger stand for an easy summer job. In addition, I believe students miss out on the crucial networking opportunities at college. Every student should take a few minutes out of their busy day to speak with professors. They also need to learn how to network with companies and recruiters. However, many students may not understand the importance this plays in job search after college. The solution to reinforce this is quite simple.
Every college has a list of required distribution courses that helps students get a diversified degree. In addition, all colleges have a career center of some sort that assists students with job searches. These two great attributes need to be combined for an upper level course that is required by all students. The course will be taught by the career center and the departments to ensure students get the necessary tools they need for job hunting. One might argue that if students miss out on these resources, it is not the schools fault and the students should be held accountable. This may be true, but is it beneficial for the university to dish out degrees that students don’t know how to market?
Every major should have their own required course that assists the students with marketing their degree and landing a job in that field. The course should have guest lectures from students who were successful and unsuccessful with finding a job. It should also cover how to apply that job to other various fields in case they are really struggling with landing a job in that area of expertise.
Overall, I think it is ridiculous to have recent college graduates with a higher unemployment rate than the U.S. as a whole. They work too hard and have too much to offer. This is why there needs to be more classes that teach students real world application, rather than theory or random information they will never use again. Therefore, a career center sponsored class will offer the exact tools they need and reinforce the importance of networking, hopefully speaking to more people than would normally get the information. Otherwise, we are leaving students behind.