Secretaries in Sacramento are in demand again, call them office administrative assistants or office administrators (experienced secretaries with bookkeeping and accounting experience.) Also in demand are customer service representatives, greeters, fast-food cooks, cashiers, and retail clerks, all with college degrees that they don’t need to handle the jobs…But first in line are numerous applicants with the type of experience employers want now, people who don’t need costly training.
Many college graduates have tens of thousands of dollars in college loans that have to be paid back…perhaps $60,000 to $100,000 in debt or for state universities closer to $30,000 and up… Meanwhile Bosch is looking to hire more than two thousand college graduates as workers in China, where college doesn’t cost anywhere near what U.S. colleges cost in tuition rates, and some colleges are tuition-free. See, Bosch wants to hire 24,000 in China – Article.
Bosch also plans to boost its research capacity in Asia and is looking to hire 2700 college graduates in China and 3700 in India, where it currently employs around 20000 workers. Another 1200 would be hired in Germany.
Some jobs in California hiring recent college graduates are seasonal, temporary, or part time. Other jobs, fewer and harder to find, are permanent, but don’t pay as much as you really would like to receive to pay your bills.
There are so few job choices for new college grads with many skills that despite degrees, most in the state of California are severely underemployed. Technical college graduates are working as moving men cleaning out furniture from empty houses. See the December 11, Sacramento Bee article, “Current crop of California college grads can’t find jobs they want,” by Phillip Reese. The problem is the skills don’t match the market’s needs.
The article also detailed the woes of a technical college graduate who now owes $60,000 in student loans and can’t find a job in the field studied. The technical college graduate is a former US Marine veteran who enrolled in a construction management program and went to school full time and also worked full time. Yes, he has great experience. But can he find a job?
In June, his employer laid him off. Will he find another job in the construction industry? How is he going to pay thousands of dollars in student loans? His old job didn’t require a college degree. One way out is for him to start his own business. Will entrepreneurship allow him to pay back that $60,000 in college loans?
The story repeats itself with thousands of other college graduates. Is the only light at the end of the tunnel starting your own business just when you’re strapped with student loans to pay back? And is the only solution moving back with your parents? In many cases middle-aged parents have lost their jobs and their houses are being foreclosed.
Where does it stop and reverse? If you start your own business, will there be customers to buy what you have to sell? Or are you in competition with wealthier business owners who don’t want your competition? Where’s the direction to follow? It makes you want to say, thank goodness I’m retired and totally dependent upon a three figure monthly social security retirement check that could go away if and when the government says it will go away.
Then again, being elderly and poor, does it matter? What if my grandkids move back in with us if the kids lose their jobs, too? And on and on. But wait, your college degree still pays. New college grads are still more likely to find work than high-school graduates.
The unemployment rate for ages 18-26 only high-school grads is 22.2 percent in California. But the many high-school dropouts who have thrown in the towel have a 25.4 percent unemployment rate. For those in California with a bachelor’s degree or higher, the unemployment rate is only 8.9 percent. This is better than the two-year college degree grads with a 10.9 percent unemployment rate. And those who have some college and no degree because they dropped out have a high 17.0 unemployment rate in California.
Students with accounting or computational math and business economics degrees are not finding jobs. Neither are accountants finding work as accountants. Instead graduates are taking jobs as retail clerks, furniture movers, and clerk-typists keyboarding material into computers just like the typing pool workers of the 1960s with high-school educations worked for close to minimum wages.
Customer service representatives is one of the most frequently found positions for college graduates. Recent college graduates are wor4king as tellers, secretaries, receptionists, retail clerks, fast-food workers, child care workers, and sales persons for close to minimum wage or at least a lot lower pay than graduates of a decade ago who found teaching jobs.
Some technical school graduates have borrowed up to $60,000 to train for computer-related skilled jobs only to owe that money to the schools or government and find only low-paying jobs moving furniture from empty houses. The point is after four years of college and a degree, few jobs in the chosen occupation or profession are available.
Forty percent of new graduates are holding down jobs if they can find a job at all in positions that only require a general high school diploma and few skills other than typing on a computer or keying in data on a spreadsheet or waiting on customers as they return merchandise in customer representative positions.
Some work as telemarketers, answer phones, or carry out work using minimal clerical skills, something that 50 years ago was the first step for 18-year old high school graduates to jump into with pride at low wage salaries. For example, in 1959, clerk-typists or data-entry clerks keying in numbers using an adding machine, accounts receivable clerks received close to the 1959 current minimum wage, about $36 weekly.
Other college grads take temporary work for the holidays, standing around department stores. It’s frustrating. For someone with the wrong foreign languages not in high demand, it’s tough finding work. Do you speak, read, and write Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish? If you do, there may be a job for you translating into perfect English documents in Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish or speaking with people in those three languages as well as correct English without a heavy accent.
College grads still earn more than high-school grads in the long run, but now, college graduates are hired first instead of high school graduates with the same office or customer relations experience and skills. Job openings are scarce in engineering, nursing, and business. The problem is hiring freezes and too many people going to college.
Years ago, only a few people had college degrees, and you could earn a good living with a high school diploma and a 40-year career at the local phone company or with any of the utilities companies or the post office. Today, the post office is laying off people as is the phone companies and the utility companies.
Sure, a few are needed to replace the retirees, but with the huge numbers of people looking for work, there just aren’t enough jobs for every college graduate who wants a job that actually requires a degree such as a public school teacher.
Students majoring in subjects such as international relations will find jobs difficult to find in their major because employers will be more interested in their office administration experience actually working for companies doing a specific job requiring certain skills such as keyboarding data, doing spreadsheets, and other computer-related work as well as dealing with people or sales experience and customer relations work on real jobs.
Now that more college graduates are working at department and discount stores such as Walmart and Target or the fast-food chains, competition has increased between the high-school graduates who really want to work in customer service and college graduates frustrated who don’t want to remain in those jobs but can’t find a job related to their majors, even technical majors in engineering, accounting, or business.
Who’s doing better? The young students designing animation video games combining engineering and art skills with scriptwriting, but lots of those jobs are outsourced to countries where graduates skilled in game design work for less pay.
What’s left? Employers are holding out for experienced workers. As more students are saddled with debt from college loans and working for just above minimum wages, many are moving back home as boomerang kids, moving in with parents who may have just been laid off from their jobs in their late fifties.
In California 126,000 young recent college graduates are living with their parents, figures up sharply from 2007, according to census figures. Employers pay attention to your experience more than your degree, especially if your degree is in a subject that anyone can read about in a public library such as international relations, literature, history, or other fields not requiring specific technical skills. And even accountants are finding a hard time finding work without actual work experience in accounting.
If you look at figures, about 20,000 new college grads last year in California worked in office jobs as secretaries, clerks, tellers, receptionists, or customer service. Those job titles usually went to high-school graduates lucky enough to find a job or internship in college.
Some high schools train certified nursing assistants and home care health aides who do find jobs taking care of the elderly in nursing homes and in private homes, but the pay is not high and there’s little advancement other than to another nursing assistant’s low-paid job in a nursing home or as an orderly in a hospital or group home.
If graduate R.N. nurses with no experience are finding it difficult to find a job, the solution is get relevant experience, not busywork volunteerism, even if it’s in an unpaid internship. Make sure if you’re volunteering you get trained in a skill that employers want and don’t have a surplus of at the moment.
More high-school graduates are looking for military service jobs, but are surprised to find out there’s a surplus of applicants there at different times. So check back to see what’s needed for now if you’re thinking military service. There’s always the reserve, if you qualify.