Editorial Board | Echo
Graduation is approaching and every senior is being asked the same question: what's next?
According to a study in the Washington Post done in 2010, only 27.3% of college seniors are working a job in their field of study after college. Only 62% are working a job that requires the degree they have and even goes as far as saying finding a job outside your major is more common than finding one within it.
Shawn Denny ('90), information services/marketing and assessment librarian, didn't find a job that fit him in his field for five years after his graduation from Taylor. Instead, he worked retail, odd jobs and decided to get a masters in library science.
"My father was so disappointed that he called the dean of students and asked why I wasn't getting a job," Denny said.
Denny believes the computer science department helped bring in alumni and connections, and was proactive in the hiring process of their students. He had two separate job opportunities after college, but didn't feel like either fit him.
An article by CNBC argues that a graduate's first job is formational to their career. According to their findings, one in five college graduates are not working a job that requires a degree a decade after graduation, because they weren't proactive with their first job choice.
"More important than what you study, he said, is that you're keeping in mind the skills you need to land a job in that field one day," Matt Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass Technologies, said.
During his five years of retail and odd jobs, Denny believes he cultivated skills he actively uses in his career. These skills include customer service, learning how to work on a team and an element of confidence.
His encouragement to students is to not freak out about not having "the job" upon graduation, but to consider their options.
"Make the most of the circumstance," Denny said. "You'll gain experience and be an influence on other people. Don't despair and don't feel like you're a failure. I cannot look back on my past and not see all that I gained."
The editorial board agrees it's okay if the ideal job in your field does not come before your graduation. We also agree if the job is presented to you, we at Taylor have been equipped with the tools to take on the task with our whole person education. There is not a specific time when each person thrives, and until that time comes, flourish in the place you have been placed and cultivate the skillsets you need for when the job in your field reveals itself.