Employment after high school

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Employment after high school

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Rampant unemployment: it is an epidemic plaguing the next wave of high school and college graduates. According to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates is 8.8%, which is larger than the national unemployment rate. In today’s economy, a college degree does not guarantee a place for you in the workforce.

“The most important thing coming out of high school or college is the desire to work hard and a willingness to do anything,” said English teacher Meg Jarrell.

Jarrell recently graduated from Davidson college in 2012. At the end of college, she noticed many friends struggling to find work. Many people were disappointed with the jobs they were forced to take.

“Coming right out the door you are probably not going to get your dream job, even though I did,” Jarrell said. “You have to have a vision for the future. You might start off as a secretary, but once they know you, you’ll rise up.”

After graduating from Lake Braddock secondary school in 2008, she maintained her connections with FCPS through her college years.

“It is all about those personal connections,” Jarrell said. “Caring is important. One of the reasons that I got a job in FCPS is because I paid attention.”

All over America students are graduating from college and ending up with minimum wage jobs. On top of a having to work such low paying jobs, the weight of student loans forces recent college graduates into a deeper pit.

“I have friends who are still unemployed,” Jarrell said.

Many college graduates take on temporary jobs after graduation rather than starting professional careers. Economists are worried that this increasingly popular fad will be detrimental to the economy.

For many of the seniors, their first step out of high school will be one toward furthering their education. At the end of college, academia will still be an option.

“A lot of my friends [from college] just went back to school, but that’s not a path that’s open to everyone,” Jarrell said. “The thing you do not want is blank space on your resume.”

Increasing debt is a major concern for any college student on a budget. According to the Federal Reserve Board of New York, there are approximately 37 million student loan borrowers with outstanding student loans.

Just as it is difficult to find a high-paying job without prior work experience, it is difficult to secure a job without having personal connections that give you an advantage over the competition.

“It’s more about who you know versus what you know, and that’s kind of sad,” Jarrell said. “Sometimes you can teach them what they need to know, but you can’t change their personality.”