Editorials

What Will You Do After Graduating?

Students attend college to study subjects they are passionate about, and/or they attend to learn job skills that will land them a job after graduation.
However, the extended recession has changed the way students are thinking about attending a university. Many students attend universities because their parents want them to attend, and a four year degree has just become an extension of high school. Despite the fact that the recession has decreased the amount of available jobs, the universities are seeing record enrollments. When one does the math, something does not add up.

In the past, a four year degree in math, science, or engineering and technology would land a graduate a pretty good job. However, due to global outsourcing and an extended recession in the United States, there are only a fraction of the jobs that there used to be,  but still the universities are cranking out graduates in greater numbers. Industries such as manufacturing and technology have been sent overseas so companies can make record profits, leaving the engineers and scientists in the United States with the short end of the stick. It’s not only engineering and technology students who suffer from the lack of local major manufacturing, but others as well. This is because major manufacturing creates jobs that require graduates from fields in accounting and marketing, health management, psychology, sociology, education, and criminal justice; just to mention a few. When industry leaves,  the jobs leave as well, leaving educated people scratching their heads, reaching in their pockets, and wondering how they are going to feed their families.

A recession may be the best time to go on to graduate school. With so many prospective employees holding four-year degrees, and with a shrinking job market, employers are looking for higher educated and better-qualified employees. Competition has increased, and unless graduating students are able to land a job in their field of study, it makes good sense to attend graduate school. If one graduates with a four-year degree and is unable to find a job in their field of study, it will be more difficult to find a job in their field when the economy is better. Begging the question, why not invest in a master’s degree and take the chance of landing a better job  when the economy gets better?

If a student does not have the funding to attend graduate school, they have the luxury of being offered financial aid. Many people do not want to be burdened with loans, but Americans are fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to borrow today, get the higher education that will increase the chances of a better job, and pay for it later. If you want to work and still pursue a graduate degree, there are many options offered with online education.  Saint Leo offers many options for getting a graduate degree, including online college.

The future does not look as bad as it seems, and waiting things out in graduate school may be the best option for a number of reasons.  Recessions do not last forever, and the baby boomers will soon be leaving the work force. Many manufacturing jobs are coming back to the United States, and at some point in the future, we may have increased economic growth. The retired baby boomers will be leaving jobs that will need to be filled, and the increase in manufacturing will require highly educated and skilled employees. Coming out of graduate school will not only make someone a more knowledgeable person, but will also make them a more qualified employee.

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