Thursday, June 7, 2012

College Degrees and the Job Market

One of the topics on my mind a lot lately is the ability for college graduates to get a job in the current economy. Traditionally, college students have been able to find work after graduation, but with the down-turned economy from it's significant fall in 2008-09, there have been more people seeking employment than there are jobs available.

With significant lay-offs of positions that had trained, and in many cases also a post-secondary education, there were now great opportunities for employers to find the absolute best of the best candidates AND because people were desperate for employment, they were able to get away with paying them far less.

The economy has made a bit of a slow recovery, but there are still several people looking to break into the business world and get steady employment.

So here is the question at hand, is a college education going to help you get a job in this day and age?! The answer is maybe. Most employers want to hire college graduates, but there is little if any actual job-training and experience that will come from a degree.

Having training and experience in the field is holding more weight than ever right now. There was once a time when the degree was more preferred over a few years experience, but people have learned from their mistakes that hands-on training and experience makes someone more qualified for a job.

Take my background for example: I have a bachelor's degree in early childhood which is basically making me qualified to work with children 0-6 AND because I have a preschool license through the state in which I live, I would be qualified to work in a preschool that is connected with a school district.

My degree did not prepare me for any other type of work, yet, in the grand scheme of things I still have a college degree.

I took some time away from working with young children and became an entrepreneur. I own and run a retail store almost completely alone. I am getting some real-life business experience during this phase of my life. I also decided to go back for a Master's degree to get an MBA. I am 70% done with my MBA and already looking around to see what kind of doors will be opened for me once I graduate at the end of the year.

The MBA isn't giving me a whole heck of a lot to work with in the time being because I lack business world experience.

So I'm looking at the world through glasses that show a woman with 4 years of early childhood work experience and 2 years of entrepreneurship. When it comes to working in a job utilizing my MBA I appear to have very little options.

I need a miracle to occur where someone gives me a chance to prove my skills and ability to work in the business world. Unfortunately, since more and more people are going back to school there will be an abundance of college-education job hunters!

 The good news is that there is a significant drop-off in numbers from bachelor degree graduates to master's degree graduates. There might be hope for me after all!

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