Digging out of debt

A recent study by the Michigan Labor Market reported that Michigan has an 11.2 percent unemployment rate. These statistics have caused statewide college graduates to vacate the state, only to discover more unemployment issues throughout the country.

As a Ferris student approaching my final year, I’ve learned my greatest concerns now no longer involve test taking, but finding a job after graduation and paying back student loans.

Though recent career opportunities in the job market have been uncertain, the college debt incurred by graduates is not. With a number of graduates unable to find substantial employment, greater stress is being placed on paying back student loans. With graduates leaving college with an average debt of $20,000-$30,000 and fewer job opportunities, this year’s college debt has surpassed credit card debt for the first time.

The current state of graduate unemployment has caused a number of employment analysts to theorize the reasons for the high rate of joblessness.

While some agree graduates are earning degrees less valuable to the recent job market, others believe it is due to college graduates having little work experience.

For college graduates with jobs, statistics have shown that a large number of employed college graduates have started their careers through referrals. No matter how strong a resume may appear, it can never outweigh the influence face-to-face networking can have on a college student’s career chances. As the 2011 Career Services Job Fair approaches, consider the opportunity to develop the interviewing and networking skills needed to prepare for a competitive job market. Shaking hands with that potential employer now may be the reason they become a permanent employee later.