Sunday, May 18, 2008!

There was a segment on CNN today about recent college graduates' search for jobs, and their joining the work force.

The good news is that on average, firms will be hiring 16% more 2008 graduates than last year. People seem to be finally getting the idea that us baby boomers will soon be retiring, and are planning accordingly. Some surprising prescience!

The bad news is that many young graduates feel a sense of entitlement. The business analyst on CNN said that so many seem to want to work 6 months and then be made vice-president of their firm!

It's odd that I saw that today, because that's been the topic of recent discussion with various family members. We don't quite get why "newbies" seem to think they can automatically get $15-18 per hour with their first job after college--and some even expect to get that without a college degree!

I've written before about a "dose of reality," and the analyst on CNN said much the same thing in advising recent graduates: be patient, pay your dues, and experience counts.

I am dismayed when I think of the unrealistic expectations of newly-graduated college students. There are only a handful of careers that pay over $50K for starting salaries:


  • Chemical Engineering - $63,749 (+6.2%)
  • Computer Science - $56,921 (+7.9%)
  • Electrical Engineering - $56,512 (+3.5%)
  • Mechanical Engineering - $56,429 (+3.4%)
  • Economics - $52,926
  • Nursing - $52,129
  • Chemistry - $52,125

    Obviously, none of these degrees are a walk in the park, and all require some pretty strong math and science skills.

    The sad truth is that a lot of grads go into their new jobs expecting to earn just as much as those who have been working in the profession for 10 or more years. It just doesn't work that way. The primo jobs, when it comes to earning, require primo degrees. And everyone should understand the concept of fiscal responsibility, and that includes kids. Why are kids graduating from college with thousands of dollars in credit card debt? It's so easy to rack it up, but so many just don't seem to get the concept of interest and paying debt. I think it's appalling that credit card companies are courting college kids (wow, that was some good alliteration, and I wasn't even trying!), because they are, sadly, some of the least equipped to deal with it.

    I think everyone needs to get a grip and say, "No, you can't buy the big screen TV, no, you can't buy a brand new car, no, you don't get to rent a're just starting out and you need to save, you need to earn, you need to work for what you want."

    Just my opinion, of course.


    jimsulliv3 said...

    That's how most people get so deep in credit card debt.... banking on tomorrow. A bird in the hand.....


    carouselqueen70 said...

    I think it is defenetly a now society. That is probably why there is so much credit card debt. I have a 19 year old college daughter. She gets mail all the time for credit cards. I tell her she cant have one(even though she is old enought o make the choice for herself). She is in college for nursing. I agree that they need to start small and work up to thier goals. She even thinks she will graduate and go buy a house right I just tell her that it isnt realistic. lol But she is just a teenager. I dont want to see her bogged down with, Christine

    ziggy2315 said...

    A thought provoking topic. One need not look much further than the parents of these young people, who delivered anything and everything their offspring ever wanted and served it all up on a silver platter. The thought of having to "earn" something is foreign to their thinking. They want, therefore they shall receive. Where I work, we have a difficult time even getting young people to apply and the starting wage of $19 and hour or more (plus health and medical benefits paid by the employer). This for some basic skills or a 6 month certificate program at most. The few who do apply do not last long as they have somehow deluded themselves into thinking that work should not interfere with their social life --their work day should be over by early afternoon, though not start too early in the morning, and should never involve weekend or holiday shifts. They should be able to talk on their cell phones at any time, and if something else better shows up in their day, there should be no problem in calling in at the last minute to say they will not be at work. This is what it is like out there today and I do not want to alarm you, but these are the very same people whose generation will inherit the responsibility of looking after us old folk baby boomers in our sunset years. Scary.

    frankandmary said...

    I haven't found that with strictly "newbies" or college grads.  When I was managing med practices, & doing all the hiring, half the  people coming in, all ages, for the low level jobs (under $15 an hour)shocked the heck out of me with demands & hubris. I've been pushy in job interviews myself, but I saved it for after I had already proven myself in the industry. ~Mary

    queeniemart said...

    My daughter wants to be a magazine journalist which will never pay huge bucks but i hope it pays enough that she has wants she wants and never has to stuggle. It is SO hard to live in this economy with only a high school diploma.

    buckoclown said...

    It is not just recently that credit card companies have targeted college students.  I was receiving and had several credit cards back in the ole 80's :o)

    Even though the newbies want more, they also are motivated by different things.  They may think that they deserve more up front, but they would also rather have time off as incentive than monetary bonuses.  

    We recently created a Work Force Planning position and have dedicated a human resources person to building social activities to keep our younger employees entertained outside of work, otherwise they will most likely leave.