Friday, October 23, 2009

Recent grads coping with economic recession

After applying to five different positions that he was overqualified for, he found himself losing a constant battle to employers hiring less qualified applicants, knowing they would work for less.

"With today's economy, I see it as they [would rather] hire more workers with less experience and pay less, than hire someone with more experience plus a degree, which means they have to pay them more," McQueen said. "In my job field, which is a city job, they want to save more money and I find myself out of luck."

Shaun McDaniel, a 25-year-old 2008 CSULB graduate, began applying for what he said would eventually become his future job, just out of college.

Over the past two years, he has filled out more than 50 applications, in which he met the minimum requirements and received only five face-to-face interviews.

"Stay in school," he said. "With so many people out there looking and the competition ranging from those who've had 10 or 15 years of experience versus kids right out college, who are employers going to choose? Not the kids out of college, that's for sure."

After two years of searching, he said he became so desperate that he decided to join the U.S. Air Force — and even found this process much more difficult than he expected.

"It used to be the Army would take anybody, but now, because there are so many people out of work, everyone wants to join the military," McDaniel said. "Even they've raised their standards."

With a degree and lack of a steady job, his best advice for students who are nearing the end of their college career is to aim for their master's degree, and do anything they can to avoid becoming one of the millions of graduates entering the workforce in 2011.

"It should be a fear," he said. "Unless you know somebody or have connections, you'll be assed out. It's just the nature of things right now."

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