Graduating from a university is a huge accomplishment. It means the culmination and acknowledgement of four or five years of testing and hard work. However, turning that degree into a job is the next, critical step.
The U.S. economy has been souring since 2001 and current job market conditions are probably the worse they’ve been in decades. A graduate has to anticipate this challenge to be even remotely successful in today’s modern job market.
Tighter Job Market
While companies still hire into traditional positions with steady schedules and pay cycles, employee-employer positions are far less than the amount of people available and skilled to be hired into them. Unless a student has a science degree in rocket design methodology or advanced computer engineering, most people will be faced with trying to secure one of the not so available positions in regular business. These are becoming rarer because:
• Less people in such positions are retiring early, needing to work longer to meet their economic needs.
• Companies are streamlining and eliminating positions for automation where possible.
• Companies are outsourcing or moving work overseas for cheaper labor.
Because of these trends, those apply for graduate jobs need to be able to show not only they can do the job, but they offer a significant labor asset that other candidates don’t.
Most college grads don’t understand how showing professional value works; this is the great fallacy of the college degree. They assume just providing a resume with a college name and degree acronym means they should be hired. Then they find out the hard way there are another 40 applicants with the same degree plus work experience ahead of them. It’s a hard, unfair awakening.
Today’s graduate has to think like a business, and the product is himself or herself. That means marketing, research, advertising, selling and operating like a business. In fact, those university students who actually work for themselves while in school actually end up steps ahead of their peers by the time the diploma walk occurs. These students have already been practicing many of the skills needed to find work once school is over.
College students who have been business working and producing via side jobs, freelance, or running their own business have a competitive edge. Managers love to see a job candidate who not only can not only do a job being filled but also has initiative and creativity to offer a company more. This can be evidence by prior work samples showing not only a high level of problem-solving but also analytical ability and design skill, especially with limited resources. The work world is regularly bombarded with too much work and not enough people or equipment to reasonably get the work done. People who can do so anyways with less become highly prized for hiring.
Students should also keep in mind the current job market is rough, lots of experienced people are out of work, and hiring is sporadic. As a result, a job right out of school is not going to happen for some. Instead of being depressed about it, students should learn to earn money on their own freelancing or selling their skills on a project basis. This will allow them to function and earn a living by the time graduation comes around rather than panicking when no immediate job appears.