It is estimated that about 400,000 American college graduates are currently working in jobs that are unrelated to their major fields of study, and many of them are grossly under-employed. How did this happen? A college degree was always supposed to be the ticket to a great career! Unfortunately, the supply is much greater than the demand right now, and that will probably continue to be the situation for the near future, except in certain specific areas. So, with thus kind of competition, how do you make yourself the most employable candidate for positions in your field that are available? Here are 5 things you can do now before you hit the job market.
Think About Your Major!
Any literature you pick up about career futures will spell out very clearly where the future lies for any college major. Yes, you may love English literature, but think about your employment prospects – teaching at the secondary level or, if you choose to go to grad school, maybe at the community college or university levels. But how many jobs are there really? Maybe you could double major in literature and journalism and expand the possibilities a bit. Tech jobs will be in good supply with the right coursework and certifications, so choose your specification within this field based upon employment prospects! You may love political science, but, unless yon plan to teach, there is little you can do with a Bachelor’s degree. Most politicians have law degrees unless they stay local, and there are many interim steps for no pay at all even to do that. If you are in a hard science field, a Bachelor’s Degree will allow you to teach or have a lowly job in a lab some place – better plan on grad school! If you love the health care field, however, you will find that a Bachelor’s in nursing will land you a job quite quickly! The takeaway from this is that you should find the right balance between your passion and your ability to find work!
Internships are pretty difficult to find and are highly competitive. If you get one, you are already out in front of the race to employment, for employers see the fact that you got one as an indication of your intellectual capacity in your field (not to mention the hands-on training you come in with). If you cannot find an internship, the next best thing is volunteer work with an organization related to your major field. If you are in broadcast journalism, for example, volunteer at radio station, even if you are only doing custodial and “go-for” work – you can get a good reference, and a potential employer will assume that you picked up knowledge just by being there! Biology and chemistry majors can volunteer in labs, if only to clean and “wash test tubes.” Education majors can volunteer to work in their subject fields with special needs kids – this is a huge plus to a principal looking to fill positions!
Yes, those pesky grades. Most employers will certainly want to see your transcript – not so much for the GPA, but, rather, for the grades you got in your major field. This should tell you one very important thing – do not neglect any course work in your major! Get the very best grades that you can, and if you have to sacrifice grades in some other unrelated courses, so be it!
The best references you can have right out of college are those from professors of courses in your major field. These carry far more weight than one from the boss you had at your part-time job at McDonalds! So, get to know your professors; visit them during office hours; show them the passion you have for the field. Get great grades in their courses! They can be a huge asset when references must be provided! If you had a long-term part-time job while in college, oc course use that supervisor too, for it is always nice for an employer to know that you are trustworthy and reliable.
Consider Grad School
In many fields, there are just no jobs without at least a Master’s – sociology, psychology, biology, chemistry, physics, business, etc. if the prospects for employment in your field appear to be much better with that grad degree, then pursue it, even if only on a part-time basis. Many employers are happy to see that candidates have taken the initiative to work on a grad degree even if they do not yet have a job in their career field – it speaks to commitment and passion for the subject.
Above all else, take a good long look at what you love, what the employment prospects are, and perhaps make some modifications of your degree program – after all, you or your parents are paying for that degree, and you want the money, time and effort to yield results!
Andy Preisler is primary writing for Grabmyessay.com but also contributing to many blogs. He has a wide range of topics that he is specialized on : business relations, students life, education are main of them. If you liked his post you may find more on his social profiles:
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