How you can help your kids get a job when 50% of new college grads are unemployed

This year's college graduating class is going to have a rough entrance into the "real world."  Reportedly, half of recent college graduates are either jobless or underemployed in occupations that may not even be in their field of study.

An analysis of government data conducted by the AP shows that there are major discrepancies between the opportunities available for young people with bachelor's degrees--basically, those with science and math degrees are in demand while those in arts, humanities, education or health fields are facing few or even no job openings. And even those in the growing fields are having difficulty since more employers are overlooking recent grads in favor of more experienced employees.

Another issue? Since students now have more debt than ever due to loans, taking their time post-college to find a job is just not an option. 


This means more graduates are  turning to low-paying jobs, like waitressing or working as a salesperson, just to get by and be able to meet their payment deadlines. So what does this all mean for your kids?

I know firsthand the panic that can take over when dealing with the job hunt. I graduated just last year with the class of 2011 and never in a million years did I think it would take me almost a year to get hired--even though I had a Journalism & English degree--admittedly not exactly the most thriving fields at the moment. Eventually, as you can see, I was hired at a position that I really enjoy but not before I experienced many anxiety attacks involving wailing to my parents: "I'M NEVER GONNA GET A JOB!"

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So what's my advice for all those moms who are secretly panicking?  Try not to freak out. There's no sugarcoating it--it's just not a good time to be a college graduate. That being said, doing what you can to help your kid avoid falling into the black hole of unemployment will help. I, for one, refused to look at jobs outside of journalism even when one of my uncles not-so-subtly suggested I switch fields.

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But that stubborn streak also meant I didn't just sit on my butt and wait for something to fall in my lap. I got a steady freelancing job and took part-time jobs in the meantime. I networked. I made sure I did something productive towards my job hunt every single day--even if it was just proofreading my resume. And when I wanted to mope, my parents got me back in action (thanks guys!). I'd encourage you to gently prod--and if that doesn't work, force--your kids into doing the same! Trust me -all those little things will help them eventually find a great position and it will keep them (and probably you) from going insane with panic and in their case, boredom.

Do you have kids in college? How are you helping them cope with the bleak job market?

Image via DeSales University/flickr

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