They laughed 35 years ago when in The Graduate, Mr. McGuire offered “ one word” of job advice to graduate Benjamin Braddock: “Plastics.” At this point, even plastics might be starting to look pretty good.
A recent Associated Press report found that 53 percent of college graduates are either jobless of underemployed. The Chicago Tribune quotes an Economic Policy Institute study which said the unemployment rate for college graduates age 21 to 24 averaged 9.4 percent from early 2011 through early 2012. Their earning potential for the Class of 2012 for the next 10 to 15 years is expected to be less than if they had graduated at a time when the economy was healthier.
This year’s job market looks to be more welcoming to college graduates than last year’s with employers reporting that they expect to hire 19.3 percent more graduates than in the previous two years. But the challenges are still formidable.
What job advice would millionaires offer college grads currently looking for work? “Intern,” recommend almost one-third of millionaires (31 percent) surveyed last month by Millionaire Corner. Whether the internship is paid or unpaid, millionaire respondents to our survey said it would be an invaluable way to get experience.
Twenty-one percent advise unemployed college graduates to take a part-time job while continuing in their employment search. Another 20 percent recommend taking a job outside their field of study or below their qualifications and expectations.
Those who take this job advice will join some frustrated and disillusioned grads, according to a recent Rutgers University study of 444 college graduates who graduated between 2006 and 2011. One-quarter of respondents reported working part-time. About one-quarter of respondents also said they are working below their level of education, outside their area of training, and/or are learning less than they expected.
Twelve percent recommend to unemployed grads to continue networking and to search to make their job search a full-time endeavor. Eight percent would offer heading back to school as job advice.
In what is perhaps a pessimistic testament to the business climate, only one percent would recommend college grads starting their own business. In a separate first quarter study of millionaire households, one in five millionaires attributed running their own business as the source of their wealth.
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.