Why Students Are Struggling To Find Jobs In The US?

Here’s why students are struggling to find jobs in the US

Every year, thousands of new graduates enter the job market in the quest to find jobs that will meet their needs. However, a great fraction of these new entrants spend a great deal of time struggling to find jobs that are a good fit; while some demand 1-2 years of experience from fresh graduates, others require skills from them that they may not possess. As the United States economy continues to recover from the 2008 economic crisis, it is no wonder that students in the US struggle to find meaningful work.

A survey conducted by Business Insider and News To Live By concluded that, out of 548 graduates surveyed, 16% of them remained unemployed after six months in the job market. These alarming rates can be attributed to a number of factors.

One complaint most students have when finding work is regarding the seemingly unreasonable requirements in terms of experience. Fresh graduates are expected to have 1-2 years of experience in the relevant field that they aspire to work in. Employers now demand a greater degree of skill and expertise from new employees and often spend less on training new recruits. Thus, students feel like they have to bear the burden of acquiring these knowledge, skills and abilities that employers demand. However, this lends to the idea that the important factors that employers are searching for are skills and experience, rather than academic prowess.

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla and Space X, stated in a 2014 interview that, although college degrees are useful, they are not always predictors of career success.  He claimed, “..just looking for evidence of exceptional ability and, if there’s a track record of exceptional achievement, then it’s likely that that will continue into the future.”

Another factor that adds to the strife students in the US face is the changing structure of companies that dominate the economy; increasingly, the service sector is flourishing and this implies changes in the workforce as well. Companies now require fewer workers and have specific skills that they demand from them. Thus, hiring is more on-demand and only when it is needed for a certain project or task. Students and fresh graduates cannot possibly keep up with these changes and, as a result, suffer.

Today’s workforce is much more fragmented and overlapping as compared to yesteryears, the advent of the gig economy has ensured that people can easily switch between different jobs and may work in varying fields during the course of their lives. This deconstructed labor force can serve as beneficial for students in the US if they are able to evolve with the changing structure.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that, as of April 2018, the youth unemployment rate stands at 8.4%.

Some have attributed this lack of jobs to the slow growth of the private-sector in the aftermath of the economic recession of 2008; while others claim it is due to a lack of information of job openings. Career fairs that one flourished have become mostly obsolete and students must make a greater effort to seek job recruitment drives. Among the many ways prospective employees can search for jobs, here are some recommendations:

  • Social media and emails
  • Networking
  • Newspapers
  • Search online
  • Career fairs at colleges and universities

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