Class of 2015 set to brave a challenging job market
As college graduation ceremonies play out across the country in the coming weeks, a brand new group of young adults will head into the real world, hoping to cash in on the recovering economic conditions.
The class of 2015 is certainly better off than those who graduated during and immediately after the Great Recession of last decade. Nevertheless, the task of securing a job and the start of a career is hardly an easy one.
"I've been putting resumes out to whoever I can, looking through all the different connections I have, to see who I can find an opportunity from," said Silas Kim, a communications major at Rutgers University who will graduate on Sunday.
Kim described himself as a "nervous wreck," but described the process as exciting.
"It's a unique opportunity because I'm not going to have the right-out-of-college-into-the-real-world opportunity ever again," he said.
Across the student center, 22-year-old Michael Schwartz had less to worry about. He'll begin auditing work this fall for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"I interned there over the summer so they gave me a job offer there," Schwartz said.
Schwartz acknowledged, though, that students who graduated before him haven't been so lucky.
"I know a lot of people who've graduated and can't find jobs," he said.
Other Rutgers seniors we spoke with had no immediate job-hunting plans following graduation:
- Raaghev Pandya, physics and philosophy - "I'm going to graduate school starting in September."
- Mindy Dudley, psychology - "I'm going to take a little time off because I'm going to help my family out."
- Chris Mottes, business analytics and information technology - "I have an internship right now for the summer…but that's only going to be for the summer, so after that, once again, I'm going to have to go on the job search for full-time."
- Roland Carvalho, political science and English - "I'm taking a year off and I'm going to apply for law school."
According to Carl Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, the entering graduate class should be greeted by a job market similar to pre-recession days.
"They're not all going to get jobs right away, but in a few months, most of them will find a good job that pays them a reasonable amount of money," Van Horn said.
That's not to suggest getting a job will be easy, however. The competition is still fierce, and simply submitting an application will rarely be enough to land a position.
"The fact of the matter is that people get jobs by making personal connections," he said. "Research shows that if you only submit your job through the internet, your odds of getting it are much lower than if you try to make a personal connection."