Updated 04/23/2012 10:21 PM
AP Study: 50 percent of recent college grads jobless or underemployed
More than half of Bachelor's degree holders younger than 25 were jobless or underemployed last year, the highest share in 11 years. Our Erin Vannella tells us more about a new Associated Press study with underwhelming prospects for college undergrads.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- "I'm taking about $20,000 out in loans each year, not good," said St. Rose College sophomore Tracie Cook.
Not good, because according to a new Associated Press study, Cook and her college classmates have a mere 50 percent chance of getting a job after graduation to pay it all back.
"It's making it difficult for students like myself who want to go and do something that they love to do and have a job that they love to go to every single day," said Cook.
Cook wants to teach and has unconsciously limited her prospects by not choosing a career in the sciences instead, a field statistically in greater demand. It's why the study reports she and millions of others are settling for low-wage underqualified positions to get by.
"During the summer I work at a restaurant, but while I'm on campus I work as a work study student at the library, but it still doesn't make enough to barely put a dent in my wallet," said Cook.
That's why career planners say it's best to get resourceful. Volunteering and interning are two ways to make professional in-roads and assign value to discouraging employment gaps on resumes.
"It's relevant experience and the same types of opportunities and roles you take on in those organizations are very transferable to full-time, full-profit opportunities as well," said Sage Colleges Director of Career Planning Michael O'Connor. "I think the second thing it does is give you excellent networking opportunities."
And start early. The study shows more experienced adult applicants are the ones landing those just-out-school jobs instead.
"Maybe in the next couple years there'll be some sort of change that will allow us to be able to extend our passion and our gift to teach students," said Cook. "And maybe someday there will be someone standing here that has something more positive to say."