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credit: Jordan Barela

Is a college degree still a cash cow?

by Kailee Kivett

A college degree is routinely seen as a golden ticket to the job market’s best offerings – but is it really?

The local economy is certainly looking up. According to the Georgia Department of Labor, Valdosta’s unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent in December 2014, down from 6.8 percent in November.

This rate has been decreasing slowly over the past two years, and Georgia has made the list of top ten states for job creation since October 2012. Still, students worry about getting jobs after graduation. The job market has been in a tumultuous state for years now, and many college graduates are wondering what else they can do to be sure to land a good job.

A recent Chronicle of Higher Education article revealed that employers are not completely confident that college graduates are ready for the work force right after graduation. According to a survey conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, employers believe that students are less than half as ready to start their careers as they thought they were.

Some economists believe the problem is that colleges and universities have not produced skills that employers are searching for, such as analytical thinking and problem solving. These economists also believe that instead of aiming to receive a good grade, students should aim for their work to be as good as it can possibly be.

Another way to help college graduates get a job is to participate in internships. Employers look for people who have applied-learning and hands-on experience. Carol Schneider, president of AACU, believes that the colleges need to help students with internship opportunities and offer feedback for future development.

The Career Opportunities Center on campus helps students build and write their resumes, work on interview skills, find off-campus jobs and more.
Kenny Steelman, graduate assistant for career opportunities, and Carla Jordan, assistant director for career opportunities, both say internships are essential to finding a good job after college.
“Students should start thinking about internships as early as freshman year,” Jordan said.

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