College Graduates Shortchanged
It is graduation time again. A time where celebrations commence after commencement ceremonies. A time of reflections of the past years of college. A time now time to put all that training and knowledge to use in a job in which all those years of education that training was for. The realm of reality though for 2012 graduates is that those jobs in which so many expected to be available are almost impossible to find. In more cases each year for the past 25 years graduates no matter their major are finding that the respected jobs are becoming so elusive that many are forced into underemployment just to be able to try to repay their student loans. Student loans of course are the financial tool that allows students to partake of the college experience. To gain the expertise in a field of their choice and to prepare them for the jobs that they want to have upon graduation. Unfortunately, for the past 25 years employers have all but diminished any hope for these graduating students of ever fulfilling their expatiations in landing a job that they were trained for.
Since the mid 1990's young college graduates with bachelor's degrees have either gone jobless for months even years in some cases only to find eventual employment in lower paying jobs, mainly service sector or in manual labor. What else has occurred is that there are jobs for skilled workers but employers have become or are still very reluctant to hire because, like that old saying "no experience no job." It's like getting a credit card when you have no credit history. It is virtually impossible to secure a credit card without having credit to begin with. The same is true with securing the employment opportunities that people were educated for but have no hands on experience of employment in that field. Another draw back for would be job seekers are that employers have decided to locate operations in other countries where there are more skilled workers available at a fraction of the cost of employing American graduates right here in the United States. A very sad reality of the times.
It is another sad reality of how our college students upon graduation expected to gain employment equal to the education that they have worked so hard to achieve only to fall way to short in gaining meaningful employment. Confronted with the harsh realities is that even with an increase in demand for graduating students in fields of science, education, and health related fields medium wages have been drastically reduced. Back 15 years ago many with bachelor degrees in these fields were receiving wages far an above what is being offered today. The prognosis for most future job openings is not that rosy either. Most are to be in the lower skilled levels like home health aids and other service related industries. Taking underemployment into consideration job prospects for our graduating students with bachelor's degrees have fallen repeatedly over the past 12 years. For others with degrees in arts and humanities the likelihood of obtaining employment in their respected fields is so remote now many are continually stuck in a perpetual job search cycle only to find themselves working at a Starbucks, or a McDonalds just to earn a fraction of what is needed to keep pace with inflation not to mention their student loans that remain unpaid.
That tried and true analogy of a person can earn more with a college degree has become an acronym for today's graduates. No longer is it a reality or a sure thing that once someone graduates that person is guaranteed to earn more in their lifetime than someone who just went to high school. With student loans topping over 1 trillion dollars today along with the diminishing prospects of students becoming employed in wage sufficient jobs is a very disturbing fact of today. Simply put the United States has and is failing our students, our economy, and most importantly have seriously jeopardized Americas very own future.
Last year alone more than 60% of bachelor degree holders under the age of 25 were jobless or severely underemployed. In each year since 2000 the rate of underemployment and jobless graduates has only increased so that by next year all indications project almost 70% rate of underemployment and joblessness among college graduates under 25. The growing number of college graduates now being employed in jobs that would normally be available to high school graduates have left a very large portion of our society unable to find work. All of which puts the United States economy at risk. To remedy these startling statistics it is becoming more imperative that an all out effort in needed to keep American businesses hiring here in the United States and to lure more foreign investment so that the employment opportunities are readily available for our college graduates.
Only when the United States reverses this trend of unavailable employment opportunities that are equivalent to the level of education achieved can America's dilemma of unequal opportunities be solved. The most efficient way is for the passage and implementation of National Economic Reform with it's ten articles of confederation. Having a plan of direction that is both for short term gains in improving economic growth and opportunities but for the long term realization of a workforce that employees today's and tomorrows graduates. This by having the availability of meaningful living wage jobs that uses the training and education they worked so hard to get that degree in. In this way the United States will guarantee the brighter future that is now so elusive for so many college students.