|What’s After College?|
|How Many Graduates Actually go into Their Majors.|
When growing up one of the major decisions that you have to make is whether you will decide to continue your education after high school. Applying for colleges is the first step and when you finally get there you have to declare a major. But what does your major entail? Do students really think about work outside of college when picking a major, or is it just whatever they have dreamed about doing since they were little?
“I came to college to be a radio personality,” said Eric Bauer a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. “I always wanted to be on the radio. I know that this university (Whitewater) may not be the best university for it but, I didn’t decide that this is what I was going to pursue until I came here,” (E. Bauer, personal communication, 2015).
When you go to a college do you follow suite with what the college or university is known for? Or do you break away from the crowd and try and create your own path? How many students go on to get careers in their area of major and if they don’t then why not? Technology could be to blame for this. With the consistent need for a new thing to happen every 5 seconds, attention spans are going down and questions on whether you are doing the right thing by going to college are being asked.
“I honestly never thought it was going to be like this,” said Ethan Buss a recent graduate at the university of Wisconsin-Whitewater and former Broadcast/Print/Web Journalism major. “I thought then when I would graduate that I would just roll up to job interviews with my resume and examples of my work and I was bound to be hired,” (E. Buss, personal communication, 2015). Ethan right now is working for a local Domino’s and is currently the Packers beat writer for RantSports.
Turns out that graduates are not getting the jobs that they once thought were reachable upon their day of graduation. In fact in an article written by James Marshall Crotty 60% of college graduates ages 24 and younger are not able to find jobs in their profession (Crotty, 2012).
“The effective unemployment rate, referred to as U-6, now stands at 15.6 percent for the youth, ages 18 to 29. U-6 adjusts for labor force participation by including those who have given up looking for work. That rate since 2012 has only improved slightly, from 16.4 percent,” (Byrd, 2014).
To put that in perspective the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater had around 12,000 students during the fall of 2014. This statistic would mean that 7,200 of them would not be able to find jobs in their area of major. This statistic is obviously skewed because of the fact that it doesn’t say if the student got a job in the area of their minor, went to graduate school, or things of those nature. The study just pertains to what you are doing immediately after graduation and if you’re working in your major or not (UWW, 2015).
“To be honest with you, I’m kind of rethinking this whole college thing,” said Joe Mabie a student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. “If things are that bad and the things that I have been hearing, I’m probably just as well off as if I were to be working at Walmart,” (J. Mabie, personal communication, 2015).
Crotty goes on to say that this is because employers now have a global economy to choose from when hiring. They don’t have to settle for someone with just an undergraduate degree from any university. They are able to pick the best people for the position, even if the person is from halfway around the world.
“Had I’d known these statistics, I don’t think I would have wasted my time with college,” said Jason Krause a recent college graduate. “I think of all of the money that I wasted and now trying to look for a job is hard. Most places are asking for 2-5 years of experience which is something I can’t provide,” (J. Krause, personal communication, 2015).
It’s pretty weird to think that what was once a booming economy hiring everyone that came out of college that the journalistic field could be a pick and choose one. Just going off the basic facts of this study, this would mean that there could be a college grad from Wisconsin with experience in the field, and having several internships probably wouldn’t get a job at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper because there is someone in Germany with a Master’s degree. Does this make the newspaper better? Yes because you have an established writer that has studied the topic more but you are then not allowing the graduate in Wisconsin to learn and become a better writer.
The whole concept behind that argument is baffling. Sure on the one hand it makes your paper better right now, but in the long run if every company decides to do something like this then there will be no chance for a person to learn and get better through actual work. Plus if the education requirement keeps up to keep these jobs then in 50 years you will need to have a doctorate to do any kind of writing for anyone. The economy will then fail because the amount of money that will have to go into everyone’s education will have to be lent from somewhere, maybe the government.
“If you think about how it works and how much tuition has increased in the years, I’m glad that I went to school when I did,” said Brad Miller a sophomore from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. “If I had been born just 10-20 years later we’re talking thousands of more dollars and even with loans, I don’t think that I would feel comfortable trying to pay that all back,” (B. Miller, personal communication, 2015).
“The average class of 2015 graduate with student-loan debt will have to pay back a little more than $35,000, according to an analysis of government data by Mark Kantrowitz, publisher at Edvisors, a group of websites about planning and paying for college. Even adjusted for inflation, that’s still more than twice the amount borrowers had to pay back two decades earlier,” (Sparshott, May, 2015).
“The Internet has become critical infrastructure for recreation, business, and even democracy,” (National geographic, 2015). With the connection that the internet has allowed, it has created a so that everyone anywhere that has an internet connection can find out what is going on, halfway around the world (Friedman, pg. 24, 2007).
Let’s apply this to a business strategy. Technology, specifically the creation of the internet, has made it so employers are not limited to the resources (people) around them. This means that what Crotty was saying is right. If an employer is looking for a journalist to write for their paper then they turn to the internet to find the best possible candidate for them. They don’t care much for where they come from, just if they can get the job done effectively.
“The millennial generation is still lagging in the workplace, just as it did last year. It makes up about 40 percent of the unemployed in the U.S., says Anthony Carnevale, a director and research professor for Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce,” (Goodman, 2015).
So what is it about the millennial generation? Is it laziness or just the fact that jobs are dying because current workers are asked to do more and have more experience in every field? There was a time when if you graduated from high school and immediately started working, you would be pretty well off. Personally if you want to blame an entire generation for something than you are unwilling to look at the world.
“I think that the reason why everyone is underemployed after they graduate is because they are unwilling to work their way up in a company,” said Andreanna a current junior at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. “You can’t expect to graduate and be making $45,000 a year right out of the gate. You have to be willing to work your way up from the bottom. Everyone nowadays feels entitled without actually doing any of the work,” (A. Follensbee, personal communication, 2015).
In this world that people created, they created the idea that things forever need to change, thus bringing in technology. If technology is created then so is the idea that it can always be made better. Once things are made better, then the next job is to make it even better again. Things along this nature keep happening throughout our society which then gets rid of the need for people. A person is replaced by a machine that can do its job 10 times faster and more accurate.
Or even the technology allows someone that is already in a position to take over another position. The best example of this is the one man crew that you see on the news. There was once a need for a reporter and a cameraman. Now with requirements in learning while in college, along with technology, these crews are obsolete. Why would an organization pay to send two people out into the field when one person can do it effectively?
“The needs of this job-seeking cohort are more granular. It is no longer sufficient to have quality undergraduate training in a specific area (say, journalism or architecture). Today’s employers can choose from candidates all over the globe. And what sets one applicant apart from another are skill sets that transcend one’s major or desired profession,” (Crotty, 2012).
This is not to say that technology is a bad thing by any means. Technology has helped the world as a whole grow and prosper. It makes jobs easier, and answers to questions easier to get to. It creates a sort of “World Public Library” with knowledge from everywhere allowing people to access it at any moment.
“Some of my classes during my time here have been online,” said Michael Inloes a current student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. “I think that the classes are kind of difficult but that’s just because you never see the professor in person. But when I have emailed them they have been very helpful. It’s kind of cool to think that someone in Madison can be teaching me,” (M. Inloes, personal communication, 2015).
After graduation employment has gone down significantly and technology is probably to blame. Though it has brought so many wonderful things to the helping of mankind, it is also becoming its downfall. With the increase in technology in any company, usually there will be a decrease in the need for employees.
There is hope though. All a graduate has to do is stay the course and soon everything works out for the best. “Four years out of college, 85 percent of graduates had one full-time job, 8 percent had multiple jobs, and 6.7 percent were unemployed and looking for work, according to the study by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Among those with a full-time job, the average salary was $52,200,” (Kingkade, July, 2014).
“I think I made the right decision in coming to college,” said Connor Moore a current student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. “I think that the statistic is skewed and looks at the graduation population as a whole and not at the ones who apply for jobs in their field let alone work very hard and get internships to have real world experience that they can offer up to employers,” (C. Moore, personal communication, 2015). Connor himself is the Sports Director for both the local radio and T.V. station here on campus. He is pursuing a Broadcast/Print/Web degree and plans to work for a radio or T.V. station in the future.
“Despite an inability to find work in their chosen academic fields, 64 percent of employees say they are happy with the degree they pursued and 61 percent said that they still believe they can find their dream job. Just over one-third of the college-educated workers wished they had picked a different college major,” (O’Shaughnessy, November, 2015).
The future is uncertain for college graduates all throughout the country. There is no way to tell if they will be able to find jobs easier in the coming years, or if they are going to continue to be unemployed or even underemployed. Something will change though. Your best bet in order to get a job after graduation is to be planning from day one. Look at fields that don’t ever seem to change. Electricians, plumbers, and nurses, these are positions that always need to be filled. This is only a possibility for those that come into school with a plan. If you are graduating or even close to graduating, then maybe more schooling is your option. Although then you would have to look into borrowing more money.
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