May 22nd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

What advice would you give to a college graduate?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's that time of year again - graduation season. But this year's crop of college graduates is looking for jobs in the worst economy their generation has known. Not exactly the best time to job search when 5.7 million people have been out of work since the recession started.

An AP-mtvU poll surveyed more than 2,200 college students on 40 campuses and found some recent college grads on food stamps; and other undergraduate students working three jobs while attending school full-time.

The poll also shows:

– 22 percent of students say they worry a lot about having enough money to get through the week; and one-third say they really worry about their parents' finances.

– Almost 20 percent changed plans and decided to go to graduate school because their undergraduate degree might not be enough to get them a job.

– One in five students say at least one of their parents lost a job in the last year; these students were less likely to go to grad school because they can't afford it.

– Almost one in five students considered quitting school.

– 32 percent say money worries have a big impact on their stress level; that's up five points from last year.

The silver lining here... Pollsters say that despite all the apprehension, there's also a lot of determination and spirit on the part of these youngsters. These students think eventually their education will pay off... and will help them land a job.

Here’s my question to you: In light of the economy, what advice would you give to a college graduate?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Sheri writes:
Look for work at a not-for-profit organization! Although the pay probably won't be as much as you'd hoped for, the intrinsic rewards that you'll get from just helping those who cannot help themselves are "priceless"! You'll learn at a very early age that "You can get anything in life that you want if you just help enough other people get what they want!"

Amber from Boston writes:
Don't think you're above the "entry level" position. We often believe our recently-attained college education entitles us to something bigger, better, and more exciting. Take what you can in this economy and run with it. No, it may not be your favorite, but work hard and you'll at least have a chance. Good luck!

Penny writes:
Look for the largest union in your area, accept any position they are willing to offer, and then relax. President Obama will take care of everything in your life from there.

Doug writes:
Jack, I disagree with you. I think the advice I would give in today's economic times is to stay at home, find a job, and contribute to the household financially. It would help out the parents, and it would allow them time to save a little money. I think the family unit gets stronger in troubled times, and who else can you depend on?

Karen writes:
Get a degree in something that leads to an actual job... nursing, engineering, etc. Any job that requires a license is a better choice. Forget psychology, sociology, art history, etc. There won't be any jobs for those degrees for a long time. Be realistic. Think about what society needs.

Diane writes:
Learn how to say "You want fries with that?" with a smile on your face in both English and Spanish. And unless you want to live in your car, learn how to live with a lot of roommates. Hey, I had to do the equivalent of that when I graduated in '74. And I'm one of the ones out there competing for your minimum wage job these days. So SMILE when you say that.

Filed under: Economy • Education
soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. Zac from NC

    Go to grad school

    May 22, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  2. Donna, from Michigan

    I would tell a college graduate to consider employment abroad because I think this is where the United States interest is, or go into banking because this industry rules Washington.

    May 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  3. Ralph

    Right off the bat, learn to live on 80% of your take home pay. Save 10% and give 10% to your church – if not a church then a charity, or use it to help someone in need. I only wish I had practiced this 26 years ago – I'd be in much better financial shape now.

    May 22, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  4. David in Natchez

    Give us this day our daily bread. When you die it's not the posessions you leave behind but the memories of you that the living cary on. Time is the treasure least respected and too soon will be your greatest loss. Let your job be your way of making a living, not your life.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  5. Mike Kalb

    Buy low and sell high, don't eat yellow snow, don't take any wooden nickels, don't pee into the wind and don't worry about wearing clean underwear, if you get in a wreck they won't be clean anyway!

    Oneida, IL

    May 22, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  6. Joe Kent Island, MD

    If you were thinking of some day going for an advanced degree, do it now, the economy is against a good career start right now. Take an immersion course in Chinese in China for an edge on international business.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  7. Jenna

    In light of the economy, what advice would you give to a college graduate?

    I'm a college grad who hasn't found a job for the past 3 years.

    My advice is to keep plugging along like me..

    Remember we are not counted in unemployment figures nor do we get any help..

    Roseville CA

    May 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  8. Kelly NJ

    I would go for the Michelle Obama approach, not the Oprah one. I'm sure Duke students are already aware of how rich you are Oprah.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  9. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Forget your pie-in-the-sky idealism and deal with the situation. Take what you can get and don’t be choosy. You don’t have enough options for that today. Just get an income as close as you can find to your choice. That way you can bide your time until something you really want opens up. And don’t be surprised if your second choice turns out to be what you really wanted, but didn’t know it. It happened to me and I’ll be forever grateful that I never got a job in the industry I wanted to be in.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  10. David Alexandria, VA

    Best advice is that this is a tough time but things will get better. This is the worst it's been in 40 years. But it will be better a couple of years from now.

    Tough it out if you can, think about going into the service (they'll help pay for your grad school). If you have debt, look for one of the public service jobs that helps forgive it.

    In short - you were smart and resourceful enough to get into and through college - you just have to apply some of that resourcefulness and intellect to get through this. And you will.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  11. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Be creative in the world of manufacturing and production and get America up and running again. We have an abundance of stagnant people at all levels that produce absolutely nothing but consume everything. Please don't be one of them.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  12. Ron Temecula

    Hi Jack:

    I would caution them about becoming discouraged in the curren job market. Many of them may not find the career job they are looking for right off. They just need to hang in there until the market job corrects. The stock market seems to be moving in a positive direction at the moment. So once that is a little stronger the jobs will start returning.

    Ron Temecula, CA

    May 22, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  13. Nancy, Grand Ledge, MI

    Welcome to the real world. Be prepared to take any job you can find to establish a good work record and enhance your resume'. My son graduated and then went into an apprenticeship program. He will eventually have both a degree and a journeyman's card. Both will be beneficial in the long run.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  14. Nena in MS

    The most important advice for these graduates is this: "Learn to live within your means!" The problem we are seeing today is the result of people spending money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't need, to impress people they don't like. Learn to accept who you are and see your worth within yourself...appreciate yourselves. Live within your own means!

    May 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  15. Ben from Gaithersburg, MD

    Find work you really would like to do. Once you start down a road, it often becomes difficult to change. Creating your own 'fork in the road' becomes more difficult the longer you travel. Now is the time to pursue your dreams or to travel to parts of the world that are of interest to you.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  16. Tony from Torrington

    Go live with your parents until the Democrats are thrown out of office, and a business-friendly administration takes over. Anything you try now will just be a waste of time.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  17. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    As usual, I have no advice, just the same question. "What were you planning on doing with your Social Science degree?"

    May 22, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  18. Tina Tx

    Hold your head up high and never go against what is right and wrong. And be nice to the ones who helped you get to this point.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  19. Jayne

    Learn how to make a good french fry.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  20. Billy in Las Vegas

    consider a career as an OFFICER in one of the branchs of the US military. I was a Naval Aviator during the Vietnam era and it was one of the most interesting and personally rewarding jobs I ever had. the training I received also gave me the skills to get a high skill job when I left the service.

    as they used to say in the commercials, "it's a great place to start"

    May 22, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  21. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I would advise them to be prepared to accept low level positions in the near term, and hope to put their degree to work at a later date. If they set their goals too high right out of college, they are in for a huge disappointment. Take what you can get right now, then try to work into a better position down the road.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  22. Sandra Lynn, Athens, Ohio

    I would tell them to think, above all else. Yes, take a deep breath and think before making decisions, and use gut instincts about personal and business relationships. Don't be afraid of saying no and changing direction. Be wise, because you know yourself better than anyone.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  23. Robert

    Being a recent college graduate myself, I would give other graduates two key pieces of advice: 1) Seek all of the advice you can about making yourself marketable. There are plenty of services available including your school’s office of career services. 2) Don’t feel that your degree makes you above menial work. Sometimes you have to make due until things get better. Bad economy or not, a little humility wouldn’t hurt in job search.

    Gary, Inidiana

    May 22, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  24. circy in new mexico

    I would tell them to have more confidence in what has worked for many years. There will be jobs. Too many polls (to me a dirty word) have projected all kinds of dire consequences happening because of the economy. But things will continue as before despite the closings, layoffs, etc. People will still need food, gas, services, etc. New businesses will continue to start up. There will be requirements to cut back, downsize, and save more. But many of these things were becoming necessary anyway because of out national habit of waste. But the system will not come to a stop. Political leaders could do less alarming the public, just to make themselves look good.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  25. Katiec Pekin, IL

    My heart goes out to all these students and all who have lost their jobs. My advice is to try to survive and take any job offered to them,
    regardless of caliber. This is not the time to believe one cannot be expected to work for less and, unfortunately, there are those who
    out there who still expect equal pay for equal qualifications. That is
    not the choice at this time.
    Hang in there and know that your life will improve. It may take time
    but you will one day get your just rewards for pursuing your

    May 22, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  26. Frank from Peterborough

    Graduates should be examining employment options available in other Countries as most of the jobs have gone overseas and will be more likely to offer employment to match their respective skills.

    Government and business have been advocating the need for globalization to allow American Companies to compete so it only stands to reason if they have been correct then the natural extension to this argument would have to apply to careers and jobs as well.

    May 22, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  27. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    Don't get your Masters, get experience first. No matter what people tell you, experience trumps education always. So while you are studying and spending all free time for classes, someone else is out there working and getting the hands-on know how that will soon make your degree worthless to you.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  28. Mark in OKC

    Do something noble with your life.....stay out of politics.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  29. Tom, Jacksonville, FL

    To get a job you have to be able to do something that is in demand. A college education is a mind opening experience and not a job training program. It should represent that the holder of the degree has the potential to learn and perform a skill or service with a degree of excellence. Diploma recipients should be grateful for any beginning level of work, for if they perform even basic jobs with a positive attitude, good management will see the potential and advance them to the appropriate level of responsibility and compensation.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  30. Cindy

    Be realistic about what you're qualified to do and strive to be self-supportive. Students may worry about their parents finances but the parents worry about how to clothe and feed them. One way to relieve some of that stress is to be sefl-supportive. Even if the student is living at home, if Mom and Dad know they can afford to feed and clothe themselves lifts a hudge burden. Having one less mouth to feed can make a hudge dent in the family budget.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  31. Christine Bolzan

    To the Class of 2009: stay positive and network extensively! There ARE jobs and the most creative, tenacious job seekers will find and land them. An upbeat attitude when searching and interviewing is critical. This is the year of the networker as so many jobs are unadvertised. Less than 10% of college graduates will find a job online; word of mouth and employee referral are the biggest sources of entry-level positions this year. Work your network, online and offline.

    To the undergrads considering quitting school: think again! Staying in school is now more important than ever. The national unemployment rate is 8.9 % but less half that for individuals with a college degree.

    Christine Bolzan, CEO of GraduateCareerCoaching.com
    Boxford, MA

    May 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  32. Greg Ontario

    Stay in school, go for your master or whatever.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  33. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I would tell them they should use these bad times as a learning lesson. When they get their foot on the first step of the ladder and start climbing up, they will always have the memory of how greed almost destroyed us. When they near the top step they will be less likely to have greed play such an important in their life.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  34. Mark, Bradenton, FL

    Good job. You just wated a lot of money and time and welcome to unemployment. I graduated in 2005 and could never land a job because I had no experience and the jobs are outsourced. College is a waste of money.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  35. mark in az

    Don't piss your parents off. You may be staying with them for awhile.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  36. Deanna R from Fayetteville NC

    working at McDonald's while you are searching for a job in your career field is not a bad thing.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  37. george

    I would tell them that no matter what, that honesty, truthfulness, compassion for their fellow human beings, love of family, and country are the most important things in life. There will be short cuts that may make you more money, but in the long run it is not worth the concequences. Although some people think that the more money you makes you more successful, but when we take our last breath of life I had much rather have my deeds be honorable ones.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  38. Tim in Texas

    Jack, I advise some of my students to actually hold off on graduating for a year. For some of them it a good idea to use an extra year to raise their GPA, take courses that build skills, and get at least one internship. The one thing students should avoid at all costs is quitting school.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  39. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Contact the major corprations in the US and tell them that you are willing to move to China or India and work for one-fourth of what you would have received in the US.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  40. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Looking for a job today will probably start their lives off with a quick lesson that sometimes things are very difficult in life. Not everyone can summer abroad or in the Hamptons. College is the last place where no one expects much from them. Some lessons are best learned early in life and do not take things for granted.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  41. Ed Reed

    Hunker down in graduate school until things get better.

    Ed Reed

    May 22, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  42. Rick Medina,OH


    In the first place, I would tell them they are right ... their education will pay off for them. I would also tell them it might pay off in a way they did not anticipate.

    In my case, I got a BS in Marketing, an MS in Marketing Research, and later did all the course work for a Doctorate in Marketing Research. A new wife and two kids got in the way of finishing the dissertation. (But, I love them to death, and don't mind.)

    I ended up selling cars, and later managed people who did. Eventually, I was a General Manager, and still am. My education taught me how to read a dealership financial statement, how to manage processes, and how to lead a team. I've been in this business for 32 years and don't regret a day of it. But, if you had told me this would be the outcome of my education years ago, I would have told you that you're nuts.

    Rick, OH

    May 22, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  43. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    I'm in that situation now with a daughter who just graduated. I told her she can live at home free, or support herself if she wants to have an apartment.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  44. Karen in CA

    I'd tell them to match their skills and passion to a need in underserved areas of the country.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  45. lynn

    My advice is to be prepared to stand in endless lines, for jobs, be prepared for the lies. Be prepared for your resumes to be thrown in the garbage and be prepared for a lot of nepotism...

    May 22, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  46. don (in naples, florida)

    the other side of that degree is not as glamorous as everyone portrayed. you are older, wiser, and certifiably smarter- at least by the university you graduated from, however now you realize that those student loans have to be paid back and that employers would rather higher the cheaper, more uneducated grunt to do the job you want so he/she can save a buck. What you should have done was skip school, get any full time job, move up, cut your own personal debt, find a frugal spouse, have a quickie wedding at the courthouse and keep debt minimal throughout your marriage. Buy a house with the money you would have spent on school, making sure you buy what you can afford not something just to keep up with the jones'. And as long as you avoid credit cards, don't have too many kids– as long as you and your wife keep your debt low, invest any savings in gold (not the dollar) you may be able to weather this period of transition the u.s. is going to go through.

    May 22, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  47. Pablo in Tejas

    go to graduate school.

    Arlington Texas

    May 22, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  48. Chris D., NYC

    I had a wise sociology Professor back in 2005, when I graduated. He told us that their is no guarantee that we would get the "dream job" or great paying jobs after completing our studies.... However he said "College is an investment, that you make into yourself, and society, and at some point within a 1-3 year range, your investment would yeild success."
    He was right!!! I struggled my first 2 years after graduation barely making 22k a year. I did odd jobs as a supervisor in a Supermarket, and McDonalds.....Boy was I discouraged. As I kept fighting, never giving up, I eventually landed a good position at a Wall St. law firm, as part of the administrative side of things in the firm.... I now make 45k a year, and within another 6 years stand to make 60k..... It will only get better as I continue my education......I only have an Associates degree.
    Those graduating with a Bachelors degree will have better luck than myself....
    The lesson is don't give up, keep fighting, sell yourself. You can get a thousand no's, it only takes one yes!!!

    May 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  49. Dan, Maine

    1: Believe in yourself (You are the best right?)
    2: Put your skills to work on the perfect resume
    3: Be willing to travel and relocate
    4: Think Global !

    May 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  50. William Joseph Miller, Los Angeles

    What could you do if you didn't have thousands of dollars of student debt to pay off? Why are you being taxed and punished for being smart? Will you have a future at all if the carbon content of the atmosphere keeps rising.
    The GOP, Cheney & Company, are a bunch of greedy old geezers. They will not be around to suffer the consequences of their stupidity, cupidity, and greed. You will.
    Get active. Get political. Demand that the Senate and Obama free you from a life time of slavery to student loans. Demand affordable medical coverage. Demand a clean planet. Demand decent wages with union representation.
    You do not have to accept the circumstances that the greedy, geezer GOP has handed down to you. Demand a change. Vote for progressive, Democrats who live in the 21st century, not the 19th.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  51. Pugas-AZ

    Hang in there. Things will get better so prepare yourself for the upturn. That could mean continuing your education or getting some practical experience that will serve you later. Above all, keep your spirts up and don't lose your youthful enthusiasm – the country needs it. Remember, there will be good times and bad times throughout your life.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  52. Daniel Indiana

    Stay in school and get as many degrees as possible. You'll need them in the future, even though some will become outdated before you ever get to use them. After all, American employment is about greed, so get a degree in greed while you're there.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  53. Dr. Giorgio from Italy

    To reach greatness and accumulate money, one doesn't need a college education. Simon and Garfunkel had dropped out of Queens College, music school to then compose beautiful music! Jack London reached literary greatness, with much self-education! Many brillant people, have ended up as penniless, drunk, or strung out on drugs in the Bowery, N.Y. My advice to college students is, 1) Search for everlasting love 2) Sign up for a program in America to help the homeless, sick, and less fortunate! 3) When you see that society prevents you from doing good to the world, and nothing is worthwhile, then as Jack London thought, at age 40, it might be time to go!

    May 22, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  54. Jim S from Gardendale, Alabama

    If I had any advice for a recent college graduate, it would be BE REALISTIC! Know the limitations at this time and accept any job that's honorable, honest and work hard until something better opens up.. It never hurt anyone. In the past, these hard times have come and gone and hopefully, this one will as well. Try and keep abreast on new developments in your field, network, and keep working.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  55. Sheri (Indianapolis, IN)

    Look for work at a not-for-profit organization! Although the pay probably won’t be as much as you’d hoped for, the intrinsic rewards that you’ll get from just helping those who cannot help themselves are “PRICELESS”! You’ll learn at a very early age that “You can get anything in life that you want if you just help enough other people get what they want”! It’s not about you…it’s all about helping others!” CONGRATULATIONS Class of 2009!

    May 22, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  56. David in San Diego

    Get a graduate degree! From most institutions, a B.A., B.S., or the equivalent degree puts you about on a par with a European or Asian high school graduate in the world employment market.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  57. Jay in Texas

    Pursue a career in which you love what you do for a living. Life is too short to work at a job that makes you unhappy or even miserable. Shed all the expectations that others have for your life. Be yourself and do what makes you happy.
    Brownwood, Texas

    May 22, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  58. Chryssa

    If you can't pay cash for something, don't buy it – you haven't earned it yet.

    Boise, ID

    May 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  59. Chuck in warren, Ohio

    Jack: My grandson graduated with a degree in electronic engineering and won't take a job in that field because it may only last a month or two. He works 39 hrs a week but it can be counted on.
    I would say watch the field and the area you might want to move to.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  60. ken jefferson city mo

    It's not as bad as the news say's it is all you need is a little willpower
    and determination and everything will be fine.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  61. Jasmine in Germany

    I would ask them to reassess the values of the mentality many grew up with: max out multiple credit cards, instant gratification, get rich quick, comfort over environment, I deserve...etc. I would ask that modesty and patience play a role in their lives. I would remind them that they live in the most free country in the world and they should have respect for that privilege. Morality is something every U.S. American should be able to afford. On a humorous note, I also suggest that many learn how to cook.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  62. Robert (Houston)

    Upon graduation, make a resolution that all work experience be directed towards gaining the necessary skills and funds to eventually go into business for yourself.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  63. Bernard Clark

    Carpe diem!

    May 22, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  64. Terry from North Carolina

    Stay in school as long as you can and live with mom and dad as long as you can.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  65. Beauregard

    My advise would be to learn to be thrifty and to always live within your means. Credit card companies see you as a target and potential life long customers. Avoid them at all costs. They only want your money. If you want something reach into your pocket and if the cold hard cash isn't in your pocket you can't afford it. Save up those cold hard dollars until you can afford what you want. That illuminates any interest and future debt. Think about a degree in business. Business degrees apply to all things. Specialized degrees like Criminal Justice are a waste of time. Police and courts will hire a person with a Business degree just as quick as a Criminal Justice degree and if something happens to your law enforcement career you still have a business degree to fall back on..

    May 22, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  66. T. Rodney Tatum, South Florida

    Go to Graduate School. Keep adding degrees. It is cheaper to live in the college enviroment and several advanced degrees can't hurt a perspective new hire when the economy turns around.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  67. Lance Schumacher

    I would tell them that the world is what is they make of it. Their future is up to them, noone ever said the world is "fair" or "easy". You need to have dreams and work every day to move toward the fulfillment of those dreams, both short term and long term. Be flexible, you have to be able and willing to adjust your goals to meet the changes that will happen, while never losing sight of the end goal. Lastly, work at being a "good person" because good things happen to good people, always.
    Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    May 22, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  68. lou

    Start saving money early and as much as you can. You may want the fun of spending that paycheck you've worked 4-6 years in college to prepare for. But take it from an old guy...having a big bank account later in life when all your family and career responsibilties are through...is like being a kid in a candy shop!

    May 22, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  69. Mike – Denver, CO

    Jack, some of my coworkers and I have recently interviewed some college graduates and I will say this – getting the basics right is key. Start with a polished -and spell checked- résumé, fresh hair cut, show up in a suit, have a folio to take notes and store any handouts, keep eye contact, say thank you, and send a follow-up email or card. These things will get a person in the consideration set before they even start talking.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  70. Laurel

    Start your own business.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  71. Karen, Nashville

    Don't wait for your "dream job" before accepting employment. You need to prove your worth with more than a degree, and working is the only way to do it.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  72. rlandschoot

    If your out of work, get up early, put on your best suit, and start walking, down street asking for any job. If you're successful there, on your first day off look for a better job. The biggest impetus to finding work is mathematics: The distance between your spine and your stomach. Closer they get together, the more one is liable to take any job, regardless of pay.

    May 22, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  73. Corina

    My advice – continue going to school, and earn a Masters degree that is versatile. My boyfriend is earning his, and getting his teaching certification in different areas of science, which is his favorite area of study. He's very marketable, and can work in just about anything from government to private/public education. Don't focus on trying to earn a degree you THINK may earn a fast dollar, but do something you love. (By the way, I have followed my own advice and love my life).

    May 22, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  74. David A Whitaker

    Jack I wish them well, I think they better start praying. Things look kind of dim for their future.


    Martinsburg, WV

    May 22, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  75. Lynne Parker in N. Augusta, SC

    Learn Chinese.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  76. Jack Martin

    My advice? Just hang in there. Your real education begins after graduation. Things will change. It took eight years to foul up the economy. It will only take a year or two to straighten it out despite the democrats and republicans in the congress.
    Jack in Boynton Beach FL

    May 22, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  77. Vinnie Vino


    Since I am one, in this job market the advice I could offer is good luck to you...

    Central Islip, NY

    May 22, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  78. Roy - Chicago

    I would tell them to stay in school if they can get a loan or grant, get the highest degree you can, and do something to make YOUR resume stand out against hundreds of roughly equivalent ones. Be positive!

    May 22, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  79. Ken in NC

    I would say take a job. Any job. Part time job and go back to school and work on your Masters Degree while you are working. Always be on the look out for a good opening in the door to the business and be ready to step through that door if it opens even a little.

    Move out of your parents home too. Get your own place and learn to cook.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  80. Nancy, Tennessee

    College Graduate, don't be discouraged by the economic situation because somewhere there is a job for you. Search for it! Send your resume to every company that has employees that do what you were prepared to do. The internet is a valuable tool for you to research companies, post your resume, and search openings. Respond to all companies that call you and don't forget to be enthusiastic. Employers are looking for go-getters. And best of luck.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  81. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Pay off your student loans as soon as possible; live within your means; go to graduate school, if it will benefit your career. And continue learning throughout your life!

    May 22, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  82. Scott in Canada

    Demand more from your government. What society leaves their students bankrupt to achieve higher education – that prevents higher education amongst many who deserve it but can't afford it. Disgusting

    May 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  83. Brian - Denver, CO

    You tell them life is a game of survival and that learning is doing and doing is learning, so learn early and often. Faithfully practice financial discipline too cause it's just as hip to be frugal as it is striving for a better life. And to remember to have some fun along the way. Don't get caught up in living life as if today is a deadline. Enjoy the simple things like the beauty of the surroundings while taking time to stop 'n stare; understanding that sometimes less is more, and that you can find calm amidst chaos by living for yourself and in the moment.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  84. Tom in Dubuque Iowa

    Keep your options open, be flexible, and learn to adapt.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  85. Jeff Crocket-New Britain CT

    Start a business and create a job!!

    May 22, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  86. Debbie, Florida

    Stay in school. Become a doctor. The baby boomers are going to need you.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  87. Jerry

    Stay in school and go for advanced degrees

    May 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  88. Star Auburn Ohio

    pay back your student loan

    May 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  89. Don (Ontario)

    Good luck kid!

    May 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  90. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Make every effort to land a job in one of the agencies of the Federal Government. Start off part time if necessary to get your foot in the door. Dining at the public trough comes with full benefits and lifetime employment; it is a great gig.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  91. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Never, ever, think that any job is beneath you and your education. Any job is better than being a burden, and your self esteem suffers a lot more from being a burden than it would working for $7.50 an hour.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  92. Linda in Arizona

    I would say, "Good luck, and I'm so glad I'm not you."

    May 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  93. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Get up early and live a healthy lifestyle because you need to be well rested and healthy to face the next chapter!

    Think of continuing to get higher education, or start a business (look at your neighborhood green businesses and services) or apply for a government job. If more than one family has lost their job, then it is a perfect time to put all thir heads together and be even more creative.

    Think of businesses or job employment relating to food, health, and the environment-energy.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  94. jerry

    Be flexible. Be prepared to work in geographical areas that are less than your idea of favorable. Most of all don't give up, don't ever give up.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  95. David in Raleigh, NC

    Take a job at McDonald's while working on their college degree. College students should learn that they aren't entitled to an education and that they should work to help pay for their education.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  96. Pat Woods (age 75)

    When my daughter came to Houston from Syracuse, NY...a recent college graduate....she had no job. I told her to get any kind of a job she enjoyed or something to keep her busy until she found something to reach her goals. She tentatively taught skiing on a moving surface ( she was a skiing instructor in northern NY) and then, applied with thousands for a job with Exxon in Baytown, Texas.
    She got the job with Exxon and Exxon evenually paid for her to receive her Masters Degree at the University of Houston. I am so very proud of her and her accomplishments and her ability to find a be herself and do what it takes until a promising position came her way....

    May 22, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  97. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Carpe diem.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  98. Anna

    Right now is the best time to stay in school! A Bachelor Degree is your golden ticket to grad school- so use it!

    May 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  99. Steven Bradley

    Learn a trade while getting paid. College grads these days have a mortgage due upon graduation with nowhere to live.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  100. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    I would advise them to spend at least as much time looking for a job as they would spend at work if they had one and don't be too picky right now about what kind of job it is. Your student loans are now coming due and your parents cannot afford to pay for them.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  101. Jack in DC

    Work harder and longer than everyone else in your office and field...Take initiative, and finally, speak clearly and loud enough (no mumbling).

    May 22, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  102. Ron - Baltimore, Maryland

    Stay close to your parents and obey their rules, you are definitely going to them.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  103. Peter M

    Get involved in your community; try new things, even the unconventional. You will be alright.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  104. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Necessity is the mother of invention. Many of them will go into business for themselves,even on a small scale at first. I graduated in 1973 and the country was in a recession. I took what work I could find, gained experience and enrolled in an MPA program. Fellowships became available and I received one. By the time I graduated from Grad school the economy improved and I had a MPA and experience. Don't give up kids. This too shall pass!

    May 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  105. vern-anaheim,ca

    don't give up ,take any job you can find even if it's not in your field,someday i hope soon this recession will be over and you'll be able to get the type of job you trained for

    May 22, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  106. Erik W. (teenager) in the E. U.

    Buy decent cooking pans instead of cheap beer, learn to identify and utilize real and healthy food, drive a used car, and be willing to pay rent instead of a mortage you can't afford. And be humane instead of greedy.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  107. Jim from Chicago

    Learn to speak Mandarin Chinese because China is where all the jobs have gone.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  108. Skip

    Good Luck!

    May 22, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  109. Gigi

    Volunteer it doesn't pay any bills or feed you but it can open doors. It shows the type character that you have.
    Start a tutoring program, for a small fee, to help students in your field. It works I know I have a grandson that proved it.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  110. Roland(St George,UT)

    Have your kids as young as possible. You have more energy and stamina to do things with them, and when they are ready to go off to college you will still be in your prime income earning years. They will be out of the house and hopefully educated by the time you are in your mid-50's and you will still have 10-20 more years to re-plenish the savings and stash away a sizeable retirement. You don't want to be paying the grocery bills for 2 or 3 teenagers when you are 55. Contrary to what you think now, when you are in your late 50's, your muscles WILL hurt, your bones WILL ache, and you WILL have pains where you didn't think it was possible to feel pain, and you won't enjoy paying 25K per year college tuition, per child. You WILL be thinking about greener pastures in a sunny warm climate. Think I'm nuts? Just wait!

    May 22, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  111. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    Apply for volunteer (unpaid) or paid apprenticeships while seeking employment in order to diversify and get valuable job cross-training experience. Attend free job trainings at local job centers (resume builders, interview skills & more). Get certifications in typing, dictation & 10 key scores (or other specialty testing) at local job centers. Get copies of driver's license, CDL's and/or drug testing (to be one step ahead of your competitors). Make your resume stand out, believe in yourself & show confidence in your abilities. Pay on your student loans. Don't get into further debt, such as credit cards. This is an economic cycle that will come full circle. Don't give up...

    May 22, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  112. Remo .............. Austin, Texas

    Don't play "Keeping up with the Jonses".
    Don't think you have to impress anyone. Those who you try to impress will forget about you the minute your money runs out.
    Live on 70% of your take home, invest, save the rest.
    Only charge on your credit cards what you can pay off when the bill comes in. Do your job, do your job, goof off on your own time.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  113. Donald in CA

    Learn a trade also because there's not many white collar jobs out there.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  114. Susan FL & IL

    The youth of today are the future of the this country. They are very smart and will figure out what to do. This country needs everyone of them!!!! Stay positive!!!! Become creative and inventive!!!!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  115. Keith, Loveland, Colorado

    By a lawn mower and get a tan!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  116. Tom Armstrong

    I'd tell them to go to work for the government.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  117. Dan - Eustis, florida

    Join the Navy and sail the seven Seas. Join the navy and be all that
    You can be. Join the Navy, Join the Navy.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  118. Reginald Bassey

    Waiting for a job? That's a huge joke!!! We better get our creative juices together and start thinking of forging a new economy for our great nation. It's time for a change in what constitutes job creation and employment.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  119. Josh from Chicago

    The summer camp owner used to say "it may be hard, it may take time, but stick with it and you'll do fine. You can do it." If it's good for 10 year old its good for graduates

    May 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  120. Craig Bottiglieri

    Join the us military it is one of the most respected career in our country and the benefits are lifetime.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  121. Amber from Boston

    Don't think you're above the "entry level" position. We often believe our recently attained college education entitles us to something bigger, better, and more exciting. Take what you can in this economy and run with it. No, it may not be your favorite, but work hard and you'll at least have a chance. Good Luck!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  122. Karen

    Get a degree in something that leads to an actual job...nursing, engineering, etc. Any job that requires a license is a better choice. Forget psychology, sociology, art history etc. There won't be any jobs for those degrees for a long time. Be realistic. Think about what society needs.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  123. Ozzie Monge

    Join the Peace Corps! It would be a great experience for them in so many ways, not to mention that they would be doing good for others.

    They would be fed, sheltered, get to experience a different culture, have a wonderful character building experience, and be a better person for it! Did I mention that they would be doing good for others?

    May 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  124. Chris

    In today's economy as a society we are actually looking at going backwards a few years...learn a trade of some kind. It's more than apparent that we will never have the economy we had just a few years ago. We need to become more frugal...fix what's broken – not just throw it away. Learn to make a house a family home that you can be proud of. Learn basic skills which your grandparents were proud to have. The world as we know it has changed and we need to learn to change with it.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  125. AJ Brown

    Use some of that education to learn about being your own boss.Start your own business.Whenever you see a need....you are looking at
    an opportunity.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  126. Amy in SC

    Just getting by with a 2.5 or 3.0 GPA won't cut it. You're competing with people who have 4.0 and better GPA – so my advice is to try as hard as you can. Just getting a diploma won't guarantee you anything.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  127. Zack Canton michigan

    Don't give up and take the first job offer you get, this isn't time to be picky.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  128. Edward Wild

    Don't dream to much and get whatever comes until you can get what you
    want.Hopefully things will get better.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  129. Matthew Schmitz Oxnard,CA

    Just make sure whatever job you get is off by 4pm if your in the East and 1 pm if your in the West so you can watch The Situation Room everyday.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  130. Jennifer Hughes

    As a professor at a large public university (UCR) I would advise our graduating students to hold on tight to what you (hopefully) learned in college- to think critically, to read carefully, to be smart and keep your eyes open. A college degree is not vocational training but instead gives you the tools you need to live fully, deeply, and intelligently. No one can take this away, whether you are employed on Wall Street or broke on the streets.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  131. James Spinney

    Tourist attraction areas are always in demand for jobs, I know outlets are always hiring new employees. This should keep you busy for the summer season at least. I know I was able to save 2 semester's worth for an apartment doing this and it was $6,000 I saved in loans that would have been for room and board.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  132. Michael Sullivan from Lafayette, California

    Jack - I would advise a college graduate to follow his/her bliss and create his/her own job and find others with the same passion for that
    enterprise to climb on board!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  133. William

    The party's over. Time to become another out of work statistic...

    May 22, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  134. Cory

    Id tell graduates not to go to Grad school...but that's just because I am a 2009 graduate and the competition to get into a decent masters program is cutthroat.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  135. Terry Musch

    Tell them knowing is more important that knowledge and that comes first from knowing who you are. A deep sense of passion and purpose engaged through your uniqueness will be the employability that creates true authentic security. The only important thing in life is a well crafted Soul from making your contribution to improving the human condition. Prosperity will make you happy, but servitude will fill you with joy. So, love is the answer to any question you will ever ask yourself..............Stay on the Namaste Highway, find your tribe, and only go where you are invited..............Terry

    May 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  136. Joseph

    As a college grad myself, having graduated three years ago...My best advice is to NOT wait until graduation to find employment, any employment, just get some income! I am 27 years old with a B.A. in Political Science and can not get a single professional employer to even look at me, I have heard over and over again that I do NOT have any verifiable job skills. As such, I am currently working retail grocery just as I have done for the past decade, my 50 hour work weeks helped pay my way through school. So, to those graduates, if you haven't looked for a job yet, you should start pounding the pavement yesterday! Worry about that higher level of income that you are supposed to expect to garner later on, just find something. A paycheck is a precious commodity and NOT an entitlement.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  137. Bryan G

    Jack. Forget the Kids, I've been unemployed for more than a year now. I'm going back to grad school. The kids have plenty of time to get a job.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  138. penny

    Look for the largest union in your area,accept any position they are willing to offer, then relax...President Obama will take care of eveything in your life from there.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  139. Sam Sengupta

    Be yourself!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  140. Doug

    I disagree with you. I think the advice I would give in today's economic times is to stay at home, find a job, contribute to the household financially. It would help the parents out, it would allow them time to save a little money. I think the family unit gets stronger in troubled times, and who else can you depend on.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  141. Anna , Macomb, MI

    Grow a new layer of skin, hit the door running and pray like there's no tomorrow!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  142. Andrea in Twin Lake

    Jack, I would encourage graduates to volunteer as much as possible in the field in which they hope to be employed. Volunteering provides valid experience that can enhance a resume as well as contacts that will help in the job search. Potential employers will also be more impressed with candidates who got out and were productive rather than those who spent their time texting friends and whining about the economy.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  143. Jon

    Jack – I graduated from college a year ago from a prestigious university and have applied to hundreds of entry level jobs all over the country. Many of the jobs I've applied to are no longer open because of budget cuts and hiring freezes or were given to candidates with 4+ years experience. Now I'm working as an unpaid intern and have moved back with my parents because I owe over $70k in student loans. My advice to college grads: stay in school!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  144. Len p. west reading

    Strap in and hold on.Because your in for a bumpy ride.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  145. Milton

    I attended college at the end of the Carter Presidency into the Reagan Presidency. It was difficult and uncertain for me too. If you think that you need an advanced degree in the long run, get it NOW. This will add to your credentials and confidence. This recession too shall pass, and when the economy returns; Jump in. All the bad news is not your problem, act on what you can do and not what the news geeks (who make money feeding us misery) say. They are not working for you, so disregard them. There are many opportunities even today, in spite of them.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  146. Ken Johns Creek, GA

    The key is network, network, network. Millennials are excellent communicators so keep all of the channels of communication open and reach out to everyone you, your friends, relatives and associates are acquainted with. Keep your facebook, twitter, etc squeaky clean and just focused on getting that interview. If that fails become fluent in Mandarin and Spanish.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  147. Andunett from CA

    I am a recent graduate, 2 years out of college. My advice would be to take on recession proof jobs. Get creative ( illegal means included), going the traditional route is a joke, returning to school being the biggest one of them all. (higher education is a scam).

    May 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  148. Allison

    Go to grad school, get employeement abroad, and NEVER take a job without benefits.
    Be willing to compromise pay for insurance.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  149. Ray Chang

    1. Learn to live within your means. I know a married couple living in Chicago making a six figure combined income and only spending 35,000 a year including a master's degree tuition and 2 international vacations a year. Watch where every dollar goes and pinch your pennies.
    2. Volunteer! It will open up doors and give you valuable experience: peace corps and americorps are great options. I know because I was a Peace Corps volunteer.
    3. Network! Attend and bebold at any function that will help you meet people that can get your foot in the door or introduce you to someone who can.
    4. Be persistent and honest with yourself and your efforts. If you spend 8 hours a day actively meeting people and applying to jobs, it'd be hard not to get a job.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  150. Cody Hughes

    If you are morally against a company DO NOT WORK FOR THEM!!!!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  151. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    If you just received your B.A. go back and get your Masters, if you just received your Masters, go back and get your Doctorate! Might as well stay in school where you can still have some good times, or you can come out here with the rest of us and be saddened at not being able to get a good paying job. My advice chose the former!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  152. Karl from SF, CA

    One possibility; if you have had an idea for a new or improved service or product, get some of the grant money that is always available for worthwhile endeavor, and go for it. It beats sitting around.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  153. Nick

    A college education is a wonderful achievement, but don't let it get to your head. Almost anyone can graduate from college and the value of a degree isn't what it used to be. Nothing is guaranteed to you from it, so you must continue to work hard and make the best of the situations life will deal you. When you look to find something to blame for your troubles in life, look in the mirror. When you look to find solutions to these troubles, look in the mirror.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  154. ck

    I do not have any advice myself for recent college grads, but it would be great to hear some.

    I graduated with my B.S. in Dec. 2005 only to find menial jobs. I went back to school for my M.A., which I completed last Dec., and have applied to many opportunities, putting in a great amount time and effort on individual applications, not to hear back from any of them, not even stores such as Target. Fortunately, at least I was able to find an unpaid internship for the last 6 mo.

    Now, I will be going back to school for my Ph.D. in the fall do not know how I will earn a living and stay afloat during the summer months before school. With my credit card balance ever climbing and student loans hanging over my head the whole situation is quite unnerving. What I want to know is what happened to the America were hard work and education were the keys to success?

    May 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  155. Jason Green

    I graduated from college last May(2008) and i say apply to as many jobs as possible cause you never know what God may have in store for you.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  156. J

    Remeber always to work hard for everything that you can and in the long run you will appreciate what you will accomplish are the best words that I can give them.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  157. Daneen Rose

    Jack, here is the problem. In America today, a college degree does not necessarily correlate with getting an education. So, to those graduates who have a degree but no fund of knowledge, no ability to write a coherent sentence, and an entrenched resistance to critical thinking, I say, "too bad for you." To those graduates who worked hard for their degrees, I say, "hang in there. Your work ethic and skills put you heads and shoulders above your more entitled peers in this competitive marketplace."

    May 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  158. Enrique Avalos

    I graduated Dec. 2007.

    I haven't found employment.

    Depression is a major setback– I live with my parents.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  159. Rebecca , Orlando fl

    I am a college student myself, and have worked various corporate jobs. At the age of 24, I would advise college graduates to take the low ball approach for the time being. look for reputable companies that are hiring and take what you can get while persuing a masters till the economy gets better, by that time you will have exceptional experience and a higher degree.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  160. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    If your degree will not get you a job in the field you are in, go back to college and get a degree in something that will help you, like the health industry. Become a nurse. They are a rarity these days and good luck.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  161. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    let's not forget that every country is like very family : lessons are learned and every country just like every family does not want to feel pressured in acknowledging the lessons learnt...they both want to be acknowledge that they are moving forward...!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  162. Peter Kirvan, Palm Coast FL

    Learn a trade.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  163. Jim

    Go to Grad School if you can.

    Be willing to start at a lower level to get in with your company of choice or in the location you want. Work hard and prove your value to the employer.

    Be patient; don't compromise your values; and look for something else if isn't working out.

    Your future doesn't depend on anyone except you. Don't let yourself down!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  164. jfc1

    If they don't have a decent job by the time they graduate, they're behind the 8-ball.

    That's all the advice that they need to have.
    The rest will come clear as the bills stack up.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  165. Gary from NEPA

    Good job as each of you graduate college.Just remember this.
    The world needs ditch diggers too ! Take the Civil Service tests.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  166. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    Getting a graduate degree is like requiring everyone to pay you more, and that is not what you want during a recession... Don't get your Masters now! It will severely decrease your chances of getting hired!

    May 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  167. CousinVito

    Graduates today are screwed for companies are getting rid of employees not hiring them. Graduates would be better off trying to do something on there own. The US is a service economy, just need to think of something that no one yet does yet. It happens everyday and some make big money.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  168. James Gambino, Oswego, IL

    Network, network, network.

    It's know what you know, it's who you know. If you surround yourself with the right people, and invest in relationships with existing professionals in the industry you wish to be a part of, then you should be able to land a decent job and ride out this economic debacle we're in.

    Don't think your college degree will get you anything. As the Bachelor's Degree becomes the new High School Diploma, you MUST go the extra mile these days and separate yourself from the rest of the pack.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  169. Joe

    Good Luck!!!

    And I hope you know someone that can hook you up with a job that pays enough money to make a dent in your loans

    May 22, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  170. Jay

    My advice is to stay in college; it's more fun than the real world. Just keep getting degree after degree, and keep borrowing more and more money that you don't have to pay back as long as you're still in school. Then, when you're in your 90's, having graduated with everything, you can die, and leave the debt for someone else. I'm sure Congress would approve of this strategy.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  171. Cdro from NC

    Went to a top 20 university. Graduated with a pre-med degree and 40k in student loan debt. No grad school. I have been out of school one year in a miserable sales job.

    I am doing something with my life and joining the Army on the OCS/Ranger contract. It eliminates my loan debt in 3 years and I will make about 32k per year with a 4% increase each year plus raises from promotions and time put in. The thing people dont realize is that this money is all banked because of limited living expenses and limited time to waste it.

    Do something for yourself if you are a 22 year old male with no strings atttached and go for it.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  172. CousinVito

    All in all it is very tough for a college graduate right with the way the economy is. I guess one of the biggest employers right now is the US government. They have plenty of openings and more coming on line each day. Guess what there benefits are also very good. This is a good place to start. When I worked in the pentagon for the navy I had more management responsibility for then any other job I could have had at the time. Great experience,

    May 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  173. gerry In Toronto

    Always remember to do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  174. Doc

    There are no jobs unless telemarketing or "manager trainee" positions that pay you in promises and commissions are your thing. My wife and I graduated with honors, I had a great resume but like my friends moved in with my parents for a year spent submitting resumes without luck.

    Best option is to join the Army or Navy, defend our nation, have the service pay your student loans off in 3 years, make good money to start, with great benefits, officer training and do something Americans used to do which is fight for freedom.

    Besides, they may get first hand experience with the world, the war and topics they have had such strong opinions about while being molded by their liberal professors. They might distinguish the difference between a soldier and a terrorist. That would do our nation as a whole some good.

    May 22, 2009 at 5:56 pm |