For many in the Class of 2014, there will be a reality check between the uplift of the graduation speech and the job market that awaits them.
For many in the Class of 2014, there will be a reality check between the uplift of the graduation speech and the job market that awaits them. With an unemployment rate for Millennials of 15.5 percent (more than twice the national average), many are struggling to find meaningful work.
Eight-in-ten seniors graduating over the next couple of weeks have not landed a job as of last month, though 73 percent were actively seeking one, according to a new poll by career networking website AfterCollege.
Even students who majored in the fields deemed to be the most marketable (engineering, business and technology among them), are faring no better.
What to do? Affluent investors surveyed by Spectrem Group have some suggestions. Nearly seven-in-ten suggest unemployed college grads work as a paid or unpaid intern to gain experience or to take a part-time job while continuing in their job search.
More than half (55 percent) recommend that unemployed college graduates continue to network and search for a job on a full-time basis, while 42 percent would counsel to take a job not in their field of study or below their qualifications and expectations.
To a lesser extent, affluent respondents would counsel Millennials trying to break into the job market to wait out the impasse and either do volunteer work until the situation improves (31 percent) or go back to school and further their education (29 percent). In a similar vein, 23 percent recommend disappointed Millennial jobseekers to join a program such as the Peace Corps.
If there are no jobs in the United States, college graduates should consider working abroad, according to 16 percent of respondents, while 12 percent suggest going the entrepreneurial route and starting their own business.
Age is a factor in what advice affluent respondents would offer college graduates about what to do while working to secure a job. Those under 40, not surprisingly, are the biggest proponents of returning to school to further their education and training (35 percent) or starting their own business (20 percent).
The latter especially resonates with Millennials, for whom the traditional corporate path does not hold the same imperative as previous generations. A recent Harris Poll survey of working adults, found that 67 percent of employed Millennials (aged 18 to 34) want to go off and start their own business, compared to 45 percent of workers aged 35 and over.
Related story: What do Millennials want most in a job?
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.