Generation jobless: discouraged and unemployed


Pie chart created by Miguel Garcia and Julianna Leon/The Skyline View

Statistic taken from Information Sciences Institute.

Finding a job you are passionate about is no easy task. It starts by finding the motivation to seek employment. However, the ultimate aim is to find a job that is both tailored to your career goals and compensates you for your efforts.

Typically, by the time you finish your college education, you will have expectations about yourself and goals that you would like to see met. Adopting a proactive approach is crucial. It is especially challenging to find work with all the entry-level requirements and the job experience required for most positions.One-third of the people who have a degree don’t have a job that has to do with their major.

Jerrold Zapata, a student here at Skyline College, was a major in physical therapy and is now trying to become a nurse practitioner.

“I just didn’t like the major,” Zapata said.

Some students stick with the same major but aren’t satisfied, or are just wanting more out of the career they decided to pursue. Another student here at Skyline College, Brandon Chin, already had a major that he wanted, sports medicine, but was unfulfilled.

Skyline professor, Brennan Wenck-Reilly, teaches biology but he wasn’t always a biology major. He used to be a film major and really enjoyed the work, but then he wanted to settle down with a family and a different job.

Prof. Wenck-Reilly’s career in Film was really taxing as he had to work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. He found out that he loved teaching after joining the Peace Corps and decided to teach instead. He couldn’t teach with the film major, and so here we are today.

Back in 2012, 60 percent of U.S. graduates were not able to find a job under their major, according to the job placement firm Adecco. But in this case, it’s not just because it’s hard to get a job for the major they chose. It’s actually because sought after skills aren’t covered in one major alone. A college degree will give you an edge when applying for a job, but will only get you so far.

According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, even those who earned their degree didn’t land a job they studied for. 47 percent of workers with a degree said that their first job after getting out of college had nothing to do with their major. Furthermore, 32 percent of these workers were never able to find a job under their chosen field of study. People are willing to dedicate so much time to pursuing a major, only to never have to use what they learned.

When looking for a job, especially in a sophisticated market, employers can be really harsh about the applicants’ requirements: what school you went to, how “solid” their experience is, and even how specialized they are in the field they’re in. This in theory makes students go back to college so they have a better resume to bring to employers.

Students sometimes also choose a field that is highly impacted or a job pool that is highly saturated, further decreasing their chances of ever finding a job in the field they choose.