MILWAUKEE, WI--September 9, 2004--18 percent of recent college grad job seekers are underemployed, according to a recent survey of college graduates by the #1 entry level job site, CollegeGrad.com. "The last four years of slow economic growth has caused many students to take any job after graduation, even if it didnt meet their expectations," said Brian Krueger, President of CollegeGrad.com. "The net result is that there are a large number of underemployed entry level job seekers still looking for their first entry level job in their field of study."
The survey found that while many recent graduates are working, they are in a job that doesn't match their degree or their skill set they are classically underemployed.
"What a humbling experience!" said Jonathan Coen, a May 2004 Computer Science graduate from the University of New Mexico. "I have a very technical degree from a great university and I have had to go back to a line of work I did before I got my degree."
Coen is not alone. Many graduates have found themselves in similar situations searching for that ideal job that will fully showcase their talents.
"You spend years in school working hard, expecting it to pay off and graduate with a cozy job and a great salary," says Crystal Saldibar, May 2004 St. John's University Finance Major. "Then after graduation hits reality: you have to work even harder to get a job."
So why don't graduates wait for their ideal position to come along?
Some graduates are fearful of the possibility of unemployment. "I took the first job I saw," says JC, who graduated in June of 2004 with a Master's in Journalism from Northwestern University. "I had a number of unemployed friends who told me that anything was better than sitting at home with the folks, searching in futility for that ideal job. I was afraid I would end up like them."
Other graduates complain that even entry level jobs require experience. Gaelyn Staab, a May 2004 Cedarville University Multimedia Technology graduate points out, "It seems that no matter what the circumstance, I will not be hired until I have some experience, and this cannot be acquired until I have been hired. So there is the conundrum."
In other cases, it just took a little longer to get serious. Cara Banda, a January 2004 Rutgers University Journalism major, describes it this way: "After graduating, I wasn't ready for the 'real world.' Most of my friends were still in college, and I liked having few responsibilities."
Those who waited to get serious, now offer advice. Banda suggests using the career center at the university, as they can be a great help. She also suggests networking. "Tell everyone you know that you are on a job search, and most people are happy to help out."
No matter what methods they use in their search, all graduates agree to one thing: START EARLY! "And oh yeah," says Saldibar, "There's no such thing as early!" Krueger agrees: "Dont wait until graduation to start your job search. Start as early as possible."
About the survey: The CollegeGrad.com Employment Survey was conducted nationally with more than 2350 entry level job seekers from August 1 to August 31, 2004.
CollegeGrad.com is the #1 entry level job site on the Internet and is the leader in the field of entry level job search. Brian Krueger is President and Founder of CollegeGrad.com and author of the best-selling book for entry level job search, College Grad Job Hunter.
Further information on this news story, including access to the original survey form, as well as additional quotes from employers and college career center directors, may be obtained from the Web site at: www.CollegeGrad.com/press.
Additional entry level job seeker quotes:
Paul Huyhn, a 2004 University of British Columbia Mechanical Engineering graduate works in a job that exposes him to a manufacturing environment: "I get to use 3D CAD programs and learn about the workings within an office environment. I also learn about plastics and processes, such as fabrication and vacuum forming."
Kimberly Collicott, May 2004 Washington State University Communications graduate: "I am probably underemployed because I am not completely satisfied with where my career is starting. I'm such a hard worker and fast learner, but that is really hard to sell to an employer in a resume or cover letter."
ER, a September 2003 Farleigh Dickinson University Finance graduate: "College grads take any job that is sort of related to their major in order to gain some type of experience and build their resume with the hope of better opportunities."
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