College graduates face challenges as they enter the workforce - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

College graduates face challenges as they enter the workforce

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - A recent study from the Pew Research Center says that the millennial generation, from early 1980's to early 2000's, is the first generation since the Great Depression to be worse off than their parents.

According to numbers from the U.S. Labor and Bureau statistics, 13 percent of the 18-24 age group were out of work in January.

Millennial generation students across the country are getting ready to graduate and find a job. Kristen Liesen with Career Services at Quincy University says the job market is a lot tougher in this generation, and while getting an interview is a good sign it must be taken seriously.

"I try to coach them that sometimes companies are hiring within," Liesen said. "So unfortunately, that person had more experience, was familiar [with the company] and already knew how that game worked within that organization."

Liesen says students need to remember the economy is still recovering from the recession in 2007.

The study says one reason the millennial generation struggles financially is because many millennials are graduating with student loan debt.

According to a report from the Institute for College Access and Success Project on Student Debt, the average debt of a college graduate is $29,000. QU Senior Ramone Grayson graduates in May and says although many students graduate with debt, he believes going to college is worth it. He also says he thinks it's important to be open to relocating.

"When doing a job search, a lot of students I find want to stay in their local area," Grayson said. "You have to get out there and go across the United States. There is probably a job open in your position somewhere across the country."

Grayson says that he has applied for jobs and has not found one just yet, but he says the study hasn't changed his optimism. Liesen says in today's competitive job market, people can't completely rely on their degree.

"Not putting every effort into, I have a degree so of course they will hire me," Liesen said. "It's all those important little steps that build up to that; like an internship or practicum type field experience that they might engage in are the important things to think about."

Liesen recommends practicing interview skills before going on that job interview. She also says be open to new ideas. Liesen says that it's good to have a goal in mind but don't be limited to it. Think of the job as a step to get to the next one, even if it means straying from the goal for a while.
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