Recent college graduates feeling the pinch of underemployment

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  • K Mchenry, IL
    April 28, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    Schools are doing an awful job of only accepting the number of students into their "college" that could possibly find a job. It does matter how well you market yourself. If there are only 70 jobs in humanities and 90 graduates with that degree 20 aren't going to find a job in their field no matter the marketing.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    April 28, 2014 5:29 a.m.

    Remember all those foreign students the school administration was courting?
    Well, now they are lobbying congress for an amnesty plan so they can take your jobs.
    The Facebook man is throwing money around so Senators and Reps will vote for amnesty. Even Orrin Hatch was presiding over a session recently, telling us our own students aren't smart enough and they need to import talent.
    The Marriott man has a similar group called [Something] for a New American Economy. Here's a hint: It does not involve enhancing your position in the labor force. Their concern is amnesty for those who came here illegally.
    So, citizens are chopped liver in Washington these days.
    I am truly sorry about the lack of leadership in our country and how it has impacted you.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    April 26, 2014 9:45 p.m.

    All those young Obama lovers and game players are getting their reality check. What's left to say, have fun.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 26, 2014 8:23 p.m.

    How's the free trade agreements working out?

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    April 25, 2014 7:20 p.m.

    I remember a year after I graduated from college being extended an interview (and subsequent job offer) for a company in Chicago. The funny thing about that job was...I applied for that job the year BEFORE, and had already forgotten all about them! It just took Human Resources that long to get around to making the hire. I found out a couple of years ago that often times, hiring personnel put out advertisements for jobs that are really more of a [insert department here] "wish list", but sans proper corporate funding. They don't actually make their selection until after funding becomes available, but they often do the interviews, and tell the applicants they're looking to hire right away.

    And for what it's worth, I interviewed for the job I have now just over 2 years after I'd initially interviewed for it. It's a great job, and I'm grateful for it, but I understand the frustration many recent grads have over finding a good job.

    P.S.: Nearly all the kids we hire right out of college....were in-house hires from their internships. Want a great job? Get an internship.

  • DSS0225 Midvale, UT
    April 25, 2014 4:09 a.m.

    "Employers also reported they struggle to find recent college graduates who are qualified for the job because they lack communication skills, can't adapt well and don't know how to think and solve complex problems."

    If college isn't teaching students to think, or communicate... I'm wondering what it's teaching. I think another part of the equation, from employers' perspectives (at least in Utah), is they are constantly seeking to find highly skilled workers with years of experience also willing to work for less and less. A common theme in economic news is referred to as the "skills gap", but a deeper look reveals that it's not so much a "skills gap" as a "cheap skills gap." One doesn't need to look too far to see how the pay discrepancy between the top and middle/bottom of the U.S. economy is widening exponentially. Truth is, if employers are willing to pony up the cash for the skills they seek, they'll suddenly find them, in hordes.

  • MormonSean Provo, UT
    April 24, 2014 8:02 p.m.


    We should support people in whatever profession they choose. Optimism and belief helps more people than disbelief.

    My career choice doesn't have that many 0's in its salary. It's also hard to make money in. But it's what I love. I can spend a lifetime trying to make money at it and I'll have something far more valuable than anyone who chose a career based on how much money they will make.

    Money isn't everything. Our lives certainly won't be measured by it.

  • E2E Draper, UT
    April 24, 2014 7:53 p.m.

    In the U.S., the price of higher education has increased 538 percent since 1985, according to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. In 2013, federal student loan debt surpassed $1 trillion. Textbook costs continue to skyrocket. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, textbook prices have increased more than 560 percent in the last 30 years. A McKinsey Center for Government report (2012) found that 72 percent of education institutions surveyed believe that their new graduates are ready for work; in contrast, only 45 percent of youth and 42 percent of employers agreed.

    The statistics associated with higher education and what impact it is having on our society is pretty scary. The education to employment gap is quickly becoming one of the biggest social issues of our time. Education and skill development is critical but our current system is operating in a model that is 500 years old and needs a dramatic overhaul.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 24, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Just quit importing eighty two thousand highly skilled workers per year from other countries.

    That's 328,000 in just four years.

    Wouldn't that help our college grads?

  • KDave Moab, UT
    April 24, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    We had a Pres. candidate that promised jobs and one that promised food stamps. The youth voted overwellmingly for food stamps. Enjoy.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    April 24, 2014 5:54 a.m.

    Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

    obama will take care of everything. Big brother is here to protect you. Just keep voting democrat and you'll be successful living on welfare and taxing employers out of the country. But, at least you have a degree and have debt over your head and are a permanent slave to the democrat party. But, it's worth it because you get free condoms through college now!! What a deal!

    baracks plan to fix the economy was to make sure everyone has a degree. After all it's a human right. I pointed it out then and I'll point it out again. If everyone has a degree and there are no jobs, what is the point of everyone having a degree and incurring massive amounts of debt? I still can't get a democrat to give me an answer. Then again I still haven't found anyone that claims to have saved $2500 with the obummercare.

    Ha Ha Ha yes we can, yes we can, yes we can, si puede si puede si puede

  • Johnny Moser Thayne, WY
    April 23, 2014 10:14 p.m.

    Plenty of jobs out there for every college graduate. The problem is the job isn't where the graduate wants to live.

    Too many people aren't willing to do what it takes to get a job which often means they need to move somewhere different than where they are.

    That problem has existed since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Lots of work out there if you are willing to go to it.

  • sisucas San Bernardino, CA
    April 23, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    I graduated with a degree in Exercise science in 2003 when the economy was booming, and there were no jobs for us then either. In fact, there have never been any jobs for people with that degree. I did it with the intention of going directly to grad school, which worked great and provided me a comfortable living. We've got to give up this false notion that every college degree will get you a job. Unless your field of study gives you a skill set or license that allows you to produce in the free market, you are of no value to an employer. Don't blow your time and money on the things you love; study something that will get you a job. When it comes to earning a living, first do what you CAN, then do what you love. For most of us the thing we love ends up just being a hobby, but by making six figures doing what I think is "just okay", I have a lot of time and money to invest in my hobbies.

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    April 23, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    Choosing a field you're not only passionate about but also has a job market is the key. If there's no job market for your "passion", go to the next best thing for a job and make your passion your hobby. Also try to find a way to get related experience while going to school and don't be afraid to go to a less expensive local school to get a better return on your investment. BYU was just recognized for being a top return on investment because the tuition is very low (even for non-LDS) compared to the jobs available and academic rigor. Look at other less expensive state schools and don't be afraid to pursue a trade school. Many tradesmen will earn way more than most college grad's and have far more jobs available. No matter what the field-- no employer will coming calling you. Get out there and work at working!

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 23, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    "...with a degree in exercise science" pretty much explains why the first person cannot get a job in "their chosen field." Pretty much like the folks with degrees in Medieval Literature, Comparative Religions, Latvian Lesbian Studies or Social Justice and similar majors which really have no practical value at all. Anybody foolish enough to major in fields like these deserves sympathy, but not for their lack of employment, but for their poor judgment in the first place.

    On the other hand, with the shortage of teachers, I am amazed at the one person in the story, and another commenter who have had trouble getting hired. In their cases, it is clearly not the major, but something else that makes them unattractive to employers.

    College is not for everyone, and not a guarantee of a good job. Too much, it is merely the new baseline for certification that a person can read, write and do math at what previous was a High School diploma level before they were devalued by political correctness.

    Get a job in the trades, you will make more in the long run, and have no trouble finding work as plumber, welder, mechanic, etc.

  • Llew40 Sandy, UT
    April 23, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    I graduated from Southern Utah University with my elementary ed degree and couldn't find a teaching job. That was over ten years ago. I earned a CNA certification from SLCC but was continuously passed over by Intermountain Health Care. Now I'm about to graduate from the U with a second degree in English just for fun. The only lesson I've learned over this last decade is that you can't get anywhere in life unless you have the right connections so I'll be flipping burgers for the rest of my life and trying very hard to be passionate about it.

  • Victor Mclean, VA
    April 23, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    The fact is they are just kids and believe what they are told about college and following your passion blah blah blah.

    Although many of your comments are valid, the main issue here is the economy is much worse than it was when many of us obtained a college degree. Than you add that college tuition is increasing. So how are we helping the younger generations by pointing the finger back at them? It is not all their fault.

    Economies fluctuate and timing can impact age groups differently. I'm sure some of the older groups experienced rough times as well, but when I graduated late 90s early 2000s the market was great. Many of us got jobs relatively easy, bought starter homes and those homes appreciated rather quickly. You could sell your house only after owning for a year or two and bingo you started life off with $20-$30K in savings, very little debt, and with a full-time job.

    Was my age group smarter or more savy? Of course not. The last almost 10 years has been rough and the younger generations are disadvantaged by the goatrope of our current economy.

  • use the noodle Casa Grande, AZ
    April 23, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    Can we just get to the point that what you know is what matters? It would satisfy both the left and the right for a sense of fairness to the world.

    The only true lesson is that college isn't cheap enough nor rare enough to invest in degrees that don't provide a return on investment. It shouldn't be that way in my opinion but that's how it is.

    If you want to study literature, go for it. But is it worth a $100,000 investment for the diploma?

    We're in a funky transition to digital learning that CAN be distributed nearly free. See courseradotcom and Khanacademy. These are top notch courses by major universities that are completely free but credit for completion is up in the air or expensive. It can be solved easily if we really wanted to.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 23, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    Head for the trades, kids.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    April 23, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    What exactly am I supposed to glean as a hiring manager about someone who has incurred $100k in debt to get a fairly worthless degree?

  • shadowfx rio rancho, NM
    April 23, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    Education matters to several employers. Finding a job is difficult without having an educational background. Today we are facing competition from foreign nationals with an educational background that companies are looking for because today's students can not take the demands of higher math and science in college.

    There are many with BA degrees working at McDs and Wally World. However, work is work no matter what job you take. Do you job with pride and gain the skills necessary to move on to better things in the future.

    I have experienced many ups and downs since college. I just rolled with the punches. However, my educational and professional background have allowed me to do things I never thought possible.

    Kids need to learn at a young age the LIFE IS HARD. THE WORLD DOES NOT OWE YOU ANYTHING! Until America gets their head out of their dairy air and realize that we are coddling our kids, we will never succeed. Until that happens, we will continue to import people that are willing to go the extra mile to attain the degrees that employers are looking for in a candidate.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    April 23, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    "marketing yourself isn't something you learn in a classroom."

    I want to add one more point. Even if schools start teaching you how to market yourself, there is something to consider. If a large group of students learn from a professor- "here's how to market yourself", what will happen? They'll all go out and do it. The first thing I'd notice is 30 people with business cards, websites, internships, etc. They all have an identical resume. I'll either start looking for what stands out in that group, or I'll start looking outside the group to find what I want.

    Again, school isn't bad. Some schools even teach this better than others. But if you're struggling to find work either 1) there isn't work in that field or 2) you aren't innovating your marketable self very well. In my experience, the latter is more common. There is always someone willing to pay for a skill/service. It's all about knowing where to look, how to stand out, and how to sell what you offer. If you aren't doing that, why would you expect results? Money doesn't fall off trees.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    April 23, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    I am sometimes amazed to hear what students' majors are in school. Do they even check the job market to see what jobs are available in those fields? I see a major push in schools now in Math, Science, technology, and writing skills to help students compete in the market place.

  • mjkkjk Nowhere, 00
    April 23, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    "Employers also reported they struggle to find recent college graduates who are qualified for the job because they lack communication skills, can't adapt well and don't know how to think and solve complex problems."

    ATTN current college students: Next time you want to gripe to your professor that she or he is making you do something on an exam that wasn't explicitly taught to you in "memorizable" form, please remember this paragraph above.

    I teach information systems at the university level and I intentionally give students exam problems they've never seen before (i.e. unstructured, complex problems), but can easily be solve by applying the concepts they have learned in a new and creative way. I also accept many forms of correct answers in order to encourage them to be creative. However, I get endless complaints from students that this isn't fair and "how can I answer this if you haven't showed me exactly how to do it so I can memorize it for the exam?"

    It's interesting; I can tell you with remarkable accuracy which of my students will pick up great jobs and it has VERY little to do with GPA.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    April 23, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    Fact 1 = College is an investment.
    Fact 2 = College for many creates a massive debt.
    Fact 2 = Colleges do a horrible job at teaching people how to sell their skills & find work.

    Ergo: college is a bad career investment.


    In reality, college is great... but only at certain things:

    1 = It is an avenue to learn for those who need to learn
    2 = It is an avenue to get licensed for those who need to
    3 = It puts a plaque on the wall that says "I supposedly know what I'm doing"


    If I was paying for someone's services, I don't want a certificate. I want someone who ACTUALLY knows what they are doing. I might consider which school someone attended, but I'm far more impressed with someone who learned the same level of skills outside school because that proves not only determination, but that they have the skill to research, learn, and determine what's useful.

    I'm not anti school. But the way to employment isn't a certificate. It's knowing how to market your skills. People can get the skills however they want. But marketing yourself isn't something you learn in a classroom.

  • Ironmomo Ogden, UT
    April 23, 2014 12:56 a.m.

    Don't worry The President and his inept administration will take care of everything. He prefers that college graduates be unemployed, live with their parents til their 40 and receive government aid to survive. More votes for the democrats