What does the job market look like for college graduates?

Posted at: 05/11/2013 10:36 PM
Updated at: 05/11/2013 11:11 PM
By: Berkeley Brean

They are ready to take on the world. St. John Fisher students are celebrating their graduation, but many of them know it's going to be tough finding a job after the parties end.

It's a bittersweet reality for these young people. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for recent graduates is much higher now than it was even before the recession.

Saturday morning, 700 undergraduates from St. John Fisher College walked across the stage at the Blue Cross Arena to collect their diplomas and then in the afternoon, 400 students were awarded master's or doctoral degrees.

Many colleges have seen the number of students getting advanced degrees increase in the years since the recession hit and a big reason for that was that the job market was so tight, the students decided it was just better to stay in school.

But even now, post-recession, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates is almost 9-percent, which is higher than the national unemployment rate. Also, starting wages have decreased 8.5-percent since the year 2000.

Luckily, many of these Fisher graduates told News10NBC they had jobs waiting for them.

Still, an employment specialist says now companies are looking for people with multiple skills who are willing to do more for less.

“So, years ago in the recruiting industry, we saw a lot of technical positions where personality might not have been as important or communications skills not as important. But nowadays, all of them are very important. They want someone they can have fun with as well as somebody they can work with,” said Jill Nittle from Employment Relations Associates.

“A lot of the students in the accounting department actually receive job offers before they graduate, so I was lucky enough to have an offer as of (the) fall and I know my start date, so it was nice going through my last year of school knowing that I had a job waiting for me,” said graduating student Andrew Bowlby.

It costs just over $41,000 a year to go to St. John Fisher College, so by the time you get an advanced degree, it's generally an investment of more than $200,000.

Experts say it's still worth getting a college degree because, on average, a college graduate earns $570,000 more than the average high school graduate over the course of a lifetime.