Employment numbers show tough field for graduates - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Employment numbers show tough field for graduates

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Although the unemployment rate is low, getting a job in Minnesota might take a lot longer than a lot of graduates may expect according to a study that focused on those who got a degree in 2011.

The data released by the Department of Employment and Economic Development shows that even after 2 years of looking, 3 out of 5 graduates with bachelor's degrees -- 60 percent -- did not have a full-time job. For those with associate's degrees, the odds were even bleaker. Two thirds still did not have a full time job after the same time period had passed.

With just a few weeks left of school, Rein Boyd is looking forward to graduating and finding a job in advertising.

"I think with my education at the Carlson Career Center, I think getting a job won't be too difficult, but I also recognize it's not the easiest thing," Boyd said.

Those who graduated before him certainly seem to have found that out, and the numbers have Boyd feeling a little uneasy.

"Kind of scares me," he said. "There is a major disconnect between graduating college and people actually getting a job in what they study."

Lin Syverson graduated last year after spending $32,000 to get her associates degree online from Colorado Tech University.

"I definitely wonder why I did it," she reflected.

Syverson told Fox 9 News she can't count the number of applications she's filled out since, but not one has gotten her close to her goal.

"You don't get called. You don't get an e-mail. It's very frustrating to know there are jobs open, you are applying for them, and not even getting a response," she said.

At Doherty Employment, those who help graduates find their first jobs know the past few years have been tough.

"There's a little bit of a gap we are seeing -- what they learned in the classroom and how to apply that in the real world -- or how to interview, or how to show up for an interview," Elizabeth Kohl said.

Although it is difficult, Kohl said the biggest step is getting a foot in the door.

"You can start as a contract employee or part-time employee and show you might be a valuable employee as the a permanent hire," Kohl said.

Kohl urges anyone with a degree to use the schooling as an advantage by showing potential employers how that education provided the latest skills and proficiency with technology needed to succeed.

"While it may be discouraging, things are definitely improved," she said.

Polish the resume, practice interviewing skills, and Kohl is confident anyone can land a job, but for those still deciding on a field, nurses, accountants, metal workers and those with business degrees tend to get hired in the first year.

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