Law Students > Job Search

For all those who cry about our jobs stats......

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sollicitus:
http://news.yahoo.com/1-2-graduates-jobless-underemployed-140300522.html

Half of college grads either don't work at all or are doing work a GED dropout could do.

Makes our stats not look so bad by comparison. Even with a little extra debt, I'd rather have twice the debt and be able to make the payments then half the debt and no ability to pay at all.

In todays society a BA is as useless as a GED was 20 years ago. A masters is the new AA, a doctorate the new BA. Post doctorate the new doctor.

Maintain FL 350:
I would argue that even an MA or PhD in many fields is almost useless. The guy mentioned in the article had a BA in Creative Writing, and is working at a low end job. Does that actually surprise people? Let's say he gets an MA in Creative Writing. Then what? Teach a few community college classes with no chance at tenure? Maybe, if he's lucky. Let's say he then gets a PhD in English from a non-elite university. What are his chances of obtaining a professorship?

I'm not trying to be snarky, I studied History as an undergrad, a field for which there is almost zero market demand. We have done a terrible job in the U.S. of preparing students to study for degrees that might help them earn a living. For many students college is an overpriced extension of high school.

Not everyone can (or should!) be an engineer, doctor, or chemist. I get that. But the numbers are way too skewed. I live right down the street from a very well known, very prestigious private college. For every pre-med or computer science major that I meet, I swear I meet twenty who are majoring in pottery and drawing.

Incidentally, I think this immature attitude contributes to the hiring problems faced by new law grads, too. Many of the people I go to law school with have limited their job search to OCI and mass resume drops. The people I know who have job offers HUSTLED. They're not necessarily top of their class, but they know how to market themselves.

I will now step down from the soapbox.

sollicitus:
It seems that was one example and the stats were recent grads in general.

Cher1300:
I have to say also, that as an employer, there are two major problems I see with recent grads coming out of college.

1.  They have very little work experience while in college.  Although I do not expect a student to work much during college years, I am looking for SOMETHING on their resume other than a 4.0 GPA.  Sorry, but work will get you more work.  I went to college and worked to pay myself through school.  Sure, it was less expensive at the time, but the point is, even while working I managed a good GPA and still had time to party.  In the 17 years since I've graduated, I see more and more parents coddling thier kids and thinking they should not work because they need to keep up their GPA to land their first job.  This might be true for the science industries, but a liberal arts major or creative writing major with a 4.0 is not that impressive without some type of work history.  I want to know that this person can handle the stress of even a fast-food place or restaurant and has the ability to show up on time.  Parents need to realize that the people hiring their children also went to college and a major like creative writing does not require hours and hours of study.  We are looking for some type of work ethic.

2.  They are not taking low paying jobs because they feel entitled to be making more money.  I've noticed an entitlement with some undergrads that they should be making 40K a year right off the bat.  I realize this is not a lot of money, however, when a college grad does nothing for a year because they feel above taking certain jobs, that is also a red flag for me.  Again, work will get you more work.  Maybe people worry that putting a fast-food place on your resume will hurt, but I beg to differ.  Now, I can't speak for every other employer out there, but if I have to choose between someone who worked at Burger King for the last year with a 3.2 gpa versus one with a 4.0 gpa and no work experience, I'm going to hire the BK kid.  I'm looking for a strong work ethic and a desire to work.  If you stayed at home depending on mommy and daddy for the last year without doing some type of work, it insinuates that either you won't do certain tasks required for your job or that you may not even want to work.  Everyone has to pay their dues at some point.  How can I possibly give someone a chance at an entry level job when I don't know if they can even hold down a job?   

I realize that we are still in a recession and when we have a job available, I get hundreds of resumes.  However, there has definitely been a shift in perception among young graduates about what they should be doing and a shift in the parents perceptions as to thinking a small job during college is somehow going to be disastrous for their kids.  It is simply not the case and I don't think I'm the only person out there that feels this way.

Duncanjp:
Nicely said, Cher. You're the first person I've ever seen on the internet who has said that a 4.0 isn't that impressive. I couldn't agree more. People who don't have to work while they attend school ought to be getting a 4.0, or something awfully close to it. I mean, good grades are child's play when work doesn't stand in the way. Anything over a 3.0 gpa that a person can manage while holding down a job to pay one's own way is infinitely more impressive than a dorm student getting a 4.0.

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