New grads and finding a career

by Lisa on October 2, 2009

I came across this article today on CNN.com.  In gist, a recently graduated student is suing her alma mater for tuition costs – $70,000 as well as $2,000 for stress related reasons. She claims her school’s career office did not try their best in finding her a job and gave preferential treatment to those students with more stellar grades. Her GPA was a 2.7 although she had a solid attendance record.

I can see how she would be upset. Working your butt off in college (I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt on this), believing in the education system, and then to have it all culminate in  an exciting career of selling discounted shoes at the local Payless. I am not saying I agree with her actions, but this is an exaggerated case of what new grads feel when they first enter the real world.  So, why does this happen? And who is to blame (if anyone)?

One argument as to why new grads are unable to find work after graduation and float around career-less, at times jobless, for the next couple of years is that the school’s do not aim for their students to get jobs. In fact, the school is yet another money-making institution which wants its students to re-enroll in grad school. This is a more cynical view.

Another argument is that it is the student’s job  to make the most of their own education. A college provides a wealth of resources: professors, advisors, libraries, and peers. If you pose the question, there is bound to be someone who can knowledgably answer it. At the same time, being able to utilize resources and being able to see viable solutions to your problems is often related to the circumstances you were raised. It also comes down to the role models you had and the “pictures” you were shown of attitudes on life.  Should a school be responsible in filling this gap?


What are your opinions on this article? And how much responsibility, if any, should the school take? Why do you think that new grads face such difficulties in entering the real world?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert Martin October 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm

I believe the problem is that students are not told the truth in college. Everyone thinks you graduate and make huge money. Spending time as a finance manager, I knew what every walk of life in our city of 150,000 made. It is shocking how little most people make with college degrees. Most fields that I thought were huge paying as a college student are just average paying jobs. The top 10% of lawyers and accountants make great money, but the average is not what you think.

With the price of college today, I do believe the school should help the students more in the area of job placement.

Reply

Steve Chambers October 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm

They have schools that train people for jobs…they are called Vocational Schools. Four year institutions also train people for jobs if they major in engineering or the hard sciences. The problem comes when people choose to major in worthless majors like Sociology orWomen’s Studies and then expect that someone will hire them based on what they know. People need to develop marketable skills, not just get a 4 year degree.

Very few young people these days have a clear view of reality.

Steve Chambers, Sale Trainer Speaker

Reply

Lisa October 3, 2009 at 6:33 pm

true point, although I’m not sure if I would call non-skill specific majors ‘worthless’. All education has some value to it.

It is interesting to note, though, that Majors such as Business, Engineering, etc.. often require at least one internship before graduation while Liberal Arts majors require none. I think that sends a clear message on the school’s part that they expect the majority of liberal arts majors to continue school rather than enter the workforce.

Reply

Keri Eagan October 2, 2009 at 7:49 pm

It is our responsibility to use our education to the greatest advantage in life. It is a gift to be educated, not a right.

That being said I know of a high school near where I live offering a course in “cafe skills”. Really. Given that this targets students who struggle in school and that this happens to be a government subsidised course, I am disgusted.

I have some sympathy (but not much) for the complainant. The reality is that the onus is on the individual to assess how any course offered will benefit them.

Keri Eagan
Anything Alternative

Reply

kate October 2, 2009 at 10:55 pm

What happened to personal responsibility. If I were the judge I would not only throw out the case, but also chastise the complainer (yes, I know, complainant) for frivolous use of tax payer time, then I would FINE her attorney absurdly for abuse of powers.

And if I were feeling particularly sassy, I’d throw something at the attorney who brought her case. Something heavy. And I’d aim for his nose. This is NOT ACCEPTABLE behavior.

America is about creating opportunity. If it is handed to you, what incentive do you have to work for anything else?

Disgusted.
Kate

Reply

Rob Northrup October 3, 2009 at 7:21 am

Too many people go to college because it is the thing that all their friends are doing– and to delay adulthood.

There are many good things about college as a half-way house to real life, but at the horrendous cost it is not worth it.

It is important to have a degree that has a job closely associated with it…

doctor
nurse
engineer
teacher
scientist
programmer
therapist

If you are in one of the soft fields, you might want to consider becoming a
car mechanic
plumber
electrician
builder
welder
cowboy
Internet marketer
business owner

Seize the Day,
Rob
Emergency Preparedness For the 21st Century Family

Reply

Jose Escalante October 4, 2009 at 1:38 am

I think Rob’s advise would be excellent for people going to collage. Plus I’ve noticed that affluent parents don’t teach their children the important of hard work and that good things don’t come easy. Worried that’s how they got there but just forgot to let their children know.

Jose Escalante
http://www.joseescalante.com

Reply

Lisa McLellan October 3, 2009 at 9:35 pm

I hate to read anything with the word “sue” in it! That’s a crazy story. This country is sue happy.

Lisa McLellan
Child Care Expert,
Babysitting Services, Babysitting Tips, Babysitters, Nannies

Reply

Previous post:

Next post: