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Archive for the ‘Millennials’ Category

I was reading the excellent New York Times blog The Choice this morning and was happy when I read the top headline. A City Council Asks Washington to Forgive Student Loans. Jacques Steinberg explains:

In explaining its action, the council noted in its resolution that “the average debts of students graduating with loans rose from $18,796 in 2006 to $20,098 in 2007, according to the Project on Student Debt.” The Council argued that “forgiving student loan debt would have a stimulating effect on the economy.”

Specifically, the resolution imagines how “responsible people who did nothing other than pursue a higher education would have hundreds, if not thousands of extra dollars per month to spend, fueling the economy,” and that, “as a result, tax revenues would go up, the credit markets will unfreeze and jobs will be created.”

Now, you might not agree with the council, and you might have ideological problems with that kind of debt forgiveness. I think one of the best results of this issue being raised is that it brings the issue of student loans to the forefront. I talked about the issue a bit a few posts ago, and think it’s worth bringing up again.

I know my fair share of friends whose loan debt is way above $20,098. In fact, so many that I almost want to call shenanigans on that figure, but whatever. So, students, graduates, and anyone else–what do you think about this? Is a complete or partial debt forgiveness the way to go? Would it affect how you looked for a job? For example, if you suddenly had no loan debt, would  you be willing to take a job that paid less? I’m curious to hear your thoughts!

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As a job seeker, you’re always trying to be The One–the ideal candidate an employer wants. Of course you’re always looking for the perfect employer, but you’re also trying to make yourself just as appealing. And if the cliche is true that necessity is the mother of invention, job seekers today are learning how to repackage themselves in these tough times.  Andrew’s decided to rethink his plans to become a more desirable candidate and to make the most of this recession:

cbandrewIt seems as though the majority of college freshman believe they have a plan for their collegiate career and life after college. I was one of those students who thought he had his major figured out and I even knew the field of work I would get into. At that young age, life seemed simple and the career options were limitless. I figured I would graduate with a business degree, travel Europe, then [return home] and fall into the family business of real estate. Now, everything about that plan has changed as my life has evolved and my mind has become more realistic.

To be honest, I envy my friends who are on the five-year college plan. As I am set to graduate in May, they seem much calmer knowing they have at least another summer and a semester before they have to face the reality of this recession. If it were not for fear of paying student loans, I too would delay my graduation date. Even the prospect of going back for my MBA sounds like a breeze compared to entering the job market. I never planned on getting my MBA until I had a few years of experience in a field that I enjoyed. And seeing the world does not seem like a wise option, as I may need the money I have saved up for it to simply survive in this struggling economy.

As for my job search, I have widened the cities in which I am searching and I am now looking into a variety of fields of work. I am even beginning to look again into an internship with a business. I have had great experiences throughout my college career with internships, and if nothing else, they look great on a resume. According to a recent study, 59% of employers are likely to hire their interns as full time, permanent employees. While they do not guarantee a job, any edge you have over other job seekers is vital, especially as a student who is up against jobless executives.

At times it seems tough to concentrate on the schoolwork I need to accomplish in order to graduate due the anxiety of entering the job market. I need to remind myself to keep focused on the present and do what I need to do now, and not to worry about the future. As I have learned, there is little point in planning for the future because my life and the world around me are constantly changing… In the end, everything seems to fall into place.

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The economic malaise that began in 2008 and is still going on now has thrown everyone for so many loops. As we’ve discussed here on several occasions, college students and graduates have their a unique set of obstacles. And even then each student has his or her own concerns. Some degrees are more in demand than others, and we don’t know what industries will bounce book sooner than later. It’s all very tricky.

On the plus side, you’re not alone. Although you probably look at your classmates as potential job competition, you also have a country of people feeling what you’re feeling. The frustration, confusion, excitement, and everything else.

Here’s what Tierney’s feeling right now:

cbtierneyLike many upcoming college graduates my outlook isn’t too bright. I can’t help but be pessimistic, especially with my degree of choice…journalism. My dream has always been to write for a newspaper and they are diminishing daily. Obsolete is the best way to describe them. Buzz words in newsrooms have become consolidation and convergence.

Journalism has been changing in the last few years. Fewer people go to the print media to receive their news. They’ve come to rely on the internet for their information. This forces journalists to work harder to produce more content, in less time, for less money.

In addition, the entire work industry is shrinking-making it difficult for anyone to move into the working world. Although many blame the economy for the breakdown of newspapers, the truth is news organizations have been attempting to adjust to new demands long before the recession began.

The competitive nature of the job market has enhanced the need for journalists who are multi-faceted and able to work in all forms of media. This is also the case for all job hunters.

For anyone searching for entry-level jobs, the trend is overwhelmingly in new media practices. Job hunters must play up their skills in this area and showcase their willingness and ability to learn even more. The use and understanding of new technologies is what sets apart the experienced and the inexperienced-for once giving an edge to us newcomers.

Within the last year, realizing my print dream was dying, I began to research online journalism techniques. The response wasn’t promising. Writing HTML code bored me to tears and the concise nature of writing news for the web was difficult because it wasn’t what I was accustomed to. I suffered through the learning and came out better because of it.

While college graduates may be forced to acclimate to a not so friendly economic situation, there are things that can be done to combat the effects. We must explore our options. Widen our horizons. Take time to learn new things. And with the current state of the economy there is no time like the present!

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A few weeks ago, the experts weighed in on one of our campus ambassador’s job hunt. That hit a nerve with a lot of you recent grads who are feeling  job search anxiety.

JW commented: “Let’s face it, as a recent graduate we are at a disadvantage to those who have been laid off who have experience. Employers can now choose people who have 10 plus years of experience in lieu of the bright new talent.”

Laura wrote: “I have been unemployed for 2 months and out of college for 6 months. I have very much believed that obtaining a job is not about what you know…it’s WHO you know.”

Hate to be a Debbie Downer, folks, but it looks like this isn’t just a feeling some of us have. (more…)

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