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View Diary: Unemployment and underemployment rate among college graduates shows the problem isn't lack of skills (78 comments)

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  •  There are a lot of variables (4+ / 0-)
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    helpImdrowning, Elizaveta, antirove, Caj

    I would share what my daughter did for students to consider. First, if you are looking ahead on what the labor market will be in 4 years, by the time you get there, it will have changed. Plan a mid course review.

    Due to her dyslexia and unwillingness to take on a lot of debt, Lauren went to a very good community college first. She worked up to 20 hours a week at a part time job and only took half the normal credit hours. She had grad HS with a high GPA and SAT, so was able to get some grants and found a lot of small scholarships. These take time to chase down on the web and are small. They can add up to cover books, fees, etc. (I called this the PayGo plan ;)

    Lauren had a clear goal in mind for engineering, designing wheel chairs and adapting sports equipment for the disabled. The part time job was in the distribution area of her job goal. In 2004 the expectation was she would be able to get a niche job and make a decent living.

    She transferred to CO School of Mines when it was time to start engineering classes. Before the last year the student is in community college is a good time to reconsider what the job market is doing and if there is an interesting option with more potential. A few core courses might be different.

    The last two years at Mines one of the programs she had gotten funds from didn't come through. She had some family help but had to take out more than planned in loans. By then, her job experience, the skyrocketing number of war vets with wheel chair and prosthetic needs, and being accepted into the National Engineering Honor Society (Tau Beta Pi) had upped the long term job security and the short term hiring potential.

    Finally, graduation day became 5/10/13. She began applying and interviewing for jobs in March. Mid April she called to say she'd had three phone interviews with a leading wheel chair manufacturing company in Fresno, and they were flying her out for a meeting with the engineering design team.

    The company had already hired one new grad. They had been on the verge of offering the job to a local engineer with 3 years of experience (not in this field) when her ap and resume came in. Since the company she worked for here did a lot of business with the manufacturer, Lauren had a contact in the orders dept who knew her well. The gal had copies of engineering drawings Lauren had sent for custom items, not to mention years of good communications.

    She took a portfolio of different projects as well as her own designs to the meeting and was able to lay out the three main issues in wheel chair design that engineers have to deal with. She explained some of her own ideas about those, the engineers joined in. The job was hers. Salary very good for non petroleum engineering grad, plus good benefits. (Tomorrow is the day of benefits, policies, ID card, etc. Weds is the start day for being an engineer!)

    One thing not mentioned here or in other discussions, is what it costs a company to train a new hire to independence. Nurses are pushing $90 K. Have no idea about engineers but it is likely significantly more since they really need a full year of internship for many jobs. The idea is to present as someone who already knows some of the nuts and bolts, will be able to learn quickly, etc. The inside contact was a bonus - there could have been turnover in that job.

    The obvious area for job security now is health care. There are many jobs besides nursing or direct patient care. Given the shortages in many skilled positions, adding 50 million people to the number of recipients is going to be a nightmare. As I have written about, GOP obstructionists never funded the ACA committee that was to address the health care work force shortages. Anyone looking to positively have a job when they graduate needs to look at all the ones available. Keep in mind there are oodles of places to be a nurse, you can get an AD degree in 2 years at a community college - if the schools don't have a waiting list. Do NOT go to a strip mall school.

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Mon May 27, 2013 at 06:24:49 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I like that she mixed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ginny in CO, Caj

      work and school and took her time to finish her schooling - for whatever reasons. I think slowing the pace and the pressure will help our kids make better decisions about their futures, about how they get where they want to go.

      My kids started getting pressure to chart their paths and decide on college when they turned 14. My oldest is now in community college and working. Much more affordable and much more time to figure out which 4-year degree to pursue or if pursuing one is even the right choice.

      •  More time definitely helped. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elizaveta, Caj

        She actually took a year off after hs. I had wanted to do that and got NO support from my parents. It would have helped a lot. My birthday is in early October and I was always one of the youngest.

        Here in Denver, in '95 my son was finishing 8th grade and the spring parents meeting at the high school was totally about college, AP classes and the ACT/SAT tests. We moved that summer to a school district that was more balanced. He went to OSU and ran into a lot of stupid professor imposed barriers. He quit and did menial work until Lauren pushed him to look around. Was able to get into a small company and does computer programming without the degree, so far.

        The pressure for her got really crazy at Mines, although my nephew at CU has similar problems. The other nephews are grown up - oldest great nephew graduated from high school Sat. in Ft Collins. Those nephews both graduated from CSU and the pressure doesn't seem that much better. I am so appalled at how much drinking and drugs are used. The local hospitals and EMT get stocked up and prepared to handle the overdoses every weekend.

        Combination of the really nasty teaching tactics, so many loans, lousy job prospects. Lauren had friends who graduated from Mines 2 years ago that couldn't get a jobs for a year and some.  At the graduation ceremony I was noting all the bachelors, masters and doctorates in fossil fuel related fields. I really wonder how many of them will not have the loans paid off by the time the jobs start evaporating.  Hopefully they have enough engineering to transition to renewables.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:06:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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