It is a momentous time of year for students across the county. For some, it means a long-yearned-for summer vacation. For those graduating from an educational institution, there is likely hope for the future mixed with uncertainty.
Many high school graduates will endure the seemingly endless wait for acceptance letters from their chosen universities. For those graduating from our local institutions of higher learning, the future holds cover letters, resumes, interviews and, ultimately, waiting.
Being pushed out into the world amid continuing economic uncertainty can be a frightening prospect. And that cannot be sugarcoated, as recent college graduate unemployment remains consistently higher than average, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Perhaps more concerning is that college graduates are filling the ranks of the underemployed in high numbers.
A 2013 report from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity found that, “about 48 percent of employed U.S. college graduates are in jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests require less than a four-year college education.”
Further, the report notes, “about 5 million college graduates are in jobs the BLS says require less than a high-school education.”
Those doom-and-gloom statistics are not meant to depress those who have, or are about to, turn the tassels on their mortarboards from the right to left, but to present the reality of their situation. It’s still tough out there.
However, this is not the first graduating class to face a troubled economy still on the mend. It is a fate that has befallen many a graduating class before and it will be faced by graduating classes to come.
Those who previously crossed from a blissful college experience to a new economic reality did so with the same fears and anxieties. And a great many of those graduates climbed out of the economic doldrums and achieved great success, joining the ranks of a productive, upwardly mobile citizenry. Likely some of the graduates of today are cut from that same cloth.
It will require perseverance, positivity and a willingness to roll with the punches, but undoubtedly the graduates of 2014 will achieve their potential — just as the others have before them.
To all those graduating — the best of luck. It may not be the best of times, but it will ultimately be what you choose to make of it.
— From the Orange County Register