Seniors Still Searching…

Elly Schofield, writing for the summer Daily Tar Heel, has a great story out about the dramatic decline in the amount of seniors who have secured jobs right out of college.

I am really glad that the paper included a graphic (reproduced above) that really quanitifies the personal anecdotes that we have all been hearing from our peers about the difficulty of securing work in the current economic climate.

The personal testimonies of the article complement the data in the graph very well – and the data is alarming. I had no idea that the decline was well over 30%. We have gone from a majority of students having jobs secured by the time they don their caps and gowns to less than a fifth.

Of course, the economy will improve and the number will rebound, but in the words of Ralph Byrns, “that is only a piece of it.”

I did some cursory research to see if there was any readily available data on the degrees of these hires, to no avail. I would suspect though, that students in the humanities and arts are suffering the most. 4 years of rational ignorance as to the narrow market for skills in these areas are coming back to haunt many.

I did, however, find the original report from the NACE. There seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy that is driving down the job rate above and beyond the economic climate, as fewer students had even started their job search by graduation than in previous years. This exacerbates the fall in jobs secured overall by graduating classes!

It seems like a lot of students are just discouraged. A nonsubstantial increase in the number of students going to grad school fails to account for student’s motivation for forgoing the job market (something I wish the DTH would have articulated better).

It seems that we need both a boost in the economy as well as optimism among grads – both of which are probably intimately linked anyway.


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