College Graduates Hold Mixed Attitudes About Their Job Prospects

Given the current rate of unemployment in the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hard for workers to remain optimistic.  One group of job seekers, however,  is staying positive when it comes to their prospects in this tight labor market.

HR Dive’s Sheryl Estrada reports that according to Barnes and Noble’s College Insights Survey released earlier this week, more than half (56%) of recent grads are confident that they will be able to find a job, even during the current pandemic.  Approximately 24% of the respondents said that they believe they will find a job within six months while 15% thought that they would find a job in their chosen field within a month after graduation.  

What is of particular concern for this year’s crop of graduates is that the jobs they find will be able to meet their salary needs. The study found that 57% of respondents were most concerned about their ability to pay off their student loans.  

While some companies have added programs that assist students in paying off college debt, newly graduated job seekers are less confident about finding an entry-level position within those organizations that offer educational debt repayment as part of their benefits package. Having that assistance can make a big difference in how well recent graduates do economically after graduation.

Because of the high rate of unemployment across nearly every sector of the economy, companies are offering fewer entry-level positions and fewer internships.  According to a recent study conducted by Glassdoor,  there are 68% fewer entry-level positions available than there were at this time last year. 

This grim reality has left recent grads competing with established workers for jobs that they may not have the requisite experience to fill.   Companies like Microsoft, Amazon,  National Pubic Radio, and other organizations, however,  have stepped forward to provide virtual internships to help recent grads and other job seekers gain experience in their chosen field.