Jobs: Now hiring! We have open positions!! Me: *submits an application* Jobs: not you 😘❤️— S (@S) 1599337499.0
I graduated with two degrees: Economics and Spanish. Unfortunately, at the Bachelor level these degrees have not proven extremely useful in the state of Ohio. While it is generally debatable to evaluate the true value of a degree as it relates to job security, the argument of degree concentration utility is ever-present. I have found the following factors to be the most relevant in my job hunt: location; degree specialization; and experience required.
Ideally, you do not want to restrict yourself to one location. Due to my own personal ambitions and circumstances, I applied for jobs in the Columbus and Cleveland area. This has made things much more difficult. Companies and firms out of the state are the ones reaching out to me and showing the most interest (mostly in my economics degree).
In Ohio, I am mostly being ghosted during the interview process or flat out declined. One of the more annoying things to happen is "catfishing" for sales jobs. If there is one thing I know for a fact, it is that college graduates did not spend four years and tens of thousands of dollars to be hired on as a sales associate/customer support for $15 an hour. There is absolutely nothing wrong with such jobs, but it almost universally has nothing to do with a graduate's qualifications or specialization that one dedicated so much time, effort, and money.
It may be more pertinent to my majors, but consider moving anywhere if you can find a worthwhile opportunity that fits your life and goals.
The utility and relevance of your degree matters in the real world, and it helps a lot in a pandemic. I think this applies to a lot of college majors, but some of our disciplines require an even higher education (usually graduate school) to secure a job. Thus, graduating right now and not immediately going back to school puts one in a weird place – one where you significantly question the utility of your degree because your engineering friend is making 80k right off the bat while you're struggling to even get an interview.
This has the be the most ludicrous qualification that so many jobs request. How are we supposed to have years of experience? How are we supposed to gain experience when no one will hire us? It is a paradox because is nowhere to start. These jobs with an "ok" pay-grade for a college graduate are already subject to gatekeeping via having a degree, but somehow we are still extremely under-qualified because we need so much industry experience this early on. It is a harsh reality; experience tends to trump academic achievement or it is preferentially sought.
I have been applying for jobs since late March, so right as the pandemic came into full swing, and I do not see a light at the end of the tunnel. That said, things can always be worse and we all catch our break eventually. Once that happens, hopefully, many of us will be financially stable again and move out of our parent's house for good this time.