The job industry is a foreign place for college seniors. Although they have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this world, finding a place to belong is quite another experience. Application after application is filled out in hopes of receiving an interview. Echoes of complaints from seniors experiencing intense job interviews for the first time can be heard throughout college campuses. Disappointment looms in the air after weeks of no response.
In a New York Times article, writer Catherine Rampell says, “It is true that young workers have higher unemployment rates than their older counterparts, at just about all levels of education.” A recent report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that, as of October 2011, graduates had an unemployment rate of 14%.
As the poor economic conditions continue to remain low, unemployment rates for recent college graduates aren’t getting any better. The Washington Post states that a recent survey shows an increase of only 2.1% in the hiring of recent college graduates. This, compared to the projected increase of 13%, does not inspire much hope for college seniors.
This all sounds quite defeating but, for Kearney residents, there seems to be more hope.
Despite the national statistics and poor economy, Kearney, NE seems to be thriving. Upcoming graduates at UNK have had a surprising amount of job interviews and offers. Although some students may not have acquired a position they originally sought after, many are planning to begin working within their degree field. A senior majoring in Broadcasting at UNK, Wes Fairhead, says that he has submitted around 15 applications but has heard nothing back. He currently works at NTV and plans to continue working there until more doors open for him. Although he has not yet received offers outside of NTV, he is still grateful to have a job within his major.
Education majors Jenny Demoret and Abi Hinrichsen were nervous about their prospects of finding a job in Kearney. They were both seeking positions in elementary schools but, because of the low demand and high supply of education majors within the area, they were not hopeful. However, they both found jobs at schools in Kearney. “It was such a relief to learn that I was going to be able to stay in Kearney.” Jenny said. She was looking into other out-of-state job opportunities when she heard the good news.
Life is full of decisions. Whether it’s deciding what college to attend or determining a field of study, decisions are the building blocks of our lives. We cannot hide from the choices that life forces us to make. If we become indecisive then life moves on, leaving us buried in the debris of our hesitations.
College seniors, myself included, are no strangers to decision making. Major decisions began appearing after graduating high school, when minds shifted to college preparations: deciding what school to attend, what to study, what clothes to pack, and what friends to keep. Regardless of these rather life altering decisions, this milestone in life leads to something that most high school graduates are very practiced at. School.
At 22 years old, 17 years of my life have been spent in school classrooms. Now, as graduation quickly approaches, new decisions are surfacing and most of them lead to life outside of classrooms.
Although the comfort of hiding from decisions is tempting, controlling the direction my life takes is a much better option than sitting around waiting for something to happen. Deciding to attend UNK has been one of the best decisions I have made and, because Kearney seems to defy the national unemployment rate, maybe leaving the classroom won’t be so bad.