Students need more than just degrees
Published: Monday, May 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, May 28, 2012 15:05
Staggering amounts of college graduates in the US are either underemployed or unemployed, the worst it has ever been in more than a decade, and CSM graduates or transferees are not excluded. It has always been said that to get a good job, one needs a college degree, but that’s not the case for these humbled graduates. Sights graduates working minimum wage jobs in retail and food services, despite achieving their Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in their respective fields of study have become more common.
“Well, of course we’re going to have to take economic times into consideration, but I think mostly it has to do with definitely there being not enough jobs in our field” said Jason Israel Dutton, 19 a philosophy and mathematics major, currently working as a mathematics tutor,
“We should be spending more money in not just education but also in different fields of research, and from there I think we’ll be able to find more jobs for students.”
There is currently a higher demand for Nursing, Technology and Science majors, but History, Art, and Humanities majors are finding their job prospects much more bleak.Eileen O’Brien, Career Center Director at CSM says, “With our information age more and more companies cannot find the hired skill people they need to work in their companies. We’re just not producing enough people from the science math and technology areas…that’s the direction things are moving.”
“Majors like English and social studies, what are you going to do with that?” said Molly Downes, 18, an undeclared major working as a Starbucks barista.
The statistics have led many to question how practical a College Degree is nowadays.
“I do, [still think college degrees are important]”, said Leo Gomez, 23, an administration of justice major.
There is another problem facing local jobless grads. As of May 12, the unemployed will be cut off from the nation’s anti-poverty benefits. This has been triggered by the recent fall in employment rates here in California, which is the lowest it’s been in three years.
“I think that there are a lot of people with the mindset that you don’t really need that people shouldn’t get help because they’re lazy. I find that very unfair, because I know actual people who work all the days of their lives and still need that little help, because they’re either taking care of family members or they’re taking care of children. It’s not their fault that they’re in this situation,” added Dutton.
“There are no proposed changes to CSM’s CalWORKS program yet,” according to Krystal Romero, the Interim Director of Student Support Services CalWORKS, adding that she could not say anything else unless changes are actually made here on campus. CalWORKS is the California Work Opportunities and Responsibility to Kids program, managed by the California Department of Social Services.
It might not all be bad news, though, according to Eileen O’Brien, “I’ve been reading some things from National Association of Colleges and Employers which says that the recruits from this year are finding work more plentifully than they did last year, so it looks like that is improving gradually." She also gave reasons from her own experience working with students on why this is happening.
“I think a lot of times my senses in talking with recent graduates, a lot of them don’t know what they want to do, they haven’t really checked into that when they’re in school. They just want to get through school and get their degree. I think if a lot of them had work experience from an internship or other kind of situation that they would find that they would have more work opportunities”According to NACE, 70 percent of employers surveyed by NACE said they hire interns that work for them upon their graduation. O’Brien said that to avoid being a part of this statistic, students need to start looking for work while they are in school. They need to make connections to their industry of choice and get out more.
“A lot of people I see come in, they’ve worked in restaurants after they got out of college. Now it’s two years later and they say, ‘well I can’t find a job’. Well, did you ever talk to an employer when you were in school? ‘No’. So they have no contact with the employment world at all while they’re in school and then they get out and they expect to find a job when they’ve had no contact…It’s kind of like putting yourself into a bubble, and then getting out of the bubble expecting to know how to interact with people that have worked in the bubble.”