Graduating? Now comes the hard part…

by Cougar News Contributor 236 views0

By Sophia Lesseos

Waking up at 10 a.m. to put on some board shorts and rush off to Zuma Beach was Vincenzo Marino’s daily routine after graduating high school in 2008. College wasn’t yet in the cards. “I was more concerned with my social agenda,” he recalls.

Now, Marino is a successful on-anchor reporter for Fox News in Las Vegas, living the sort of life many COC journalism majors hope to emulate some day.

Marino’s road to fame was unconventional, and it offers hope to late bloomers who slacked off after high school, that success could be right around the corner, should they suddenly decide to prepare for their future.

In Marino’s case, he was a college dropout waiting tables in Santa Clarita until “I sort of sat up in my bed and realized I wasn’t going anywhere.”

By joining the COC journalism program, Marino was able to gain enough experience to get started as a multimedia journalist.

But some college graduates are not as lucky as Marino and struggle to find a job in the field they studied in.

On average reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts make $43,000  to $70,000 per year or $20 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. There is about 50,400 jobs throughout the United States already in place and in 2016 there were 13,855 journalism degrees given out, according to Data USA.

Daniel Daugherty, a Santa Clarita resident said that he struggled to find a job in the field he studied for a long time.

“It took about nine or 10 months to find a job,” said Daugherty.

Living with his parents until he was able to find a job in the marketing field, he worked at Chili’s Grill & Bar restaurant to have some income.

On average, it takes college graduates about six months to find a job, depending on their field and the current economic conditions. So how does one survive until they find a job or have to choose between offers?

Millennials don’t spend money that differently than the past generations, they just have less of it.

According to “Are millennials different,” a study done by the Finance and Economics Federal Reserve Board, millennials devote most of their spendings to eating out and cost of living.

But, before we confirm the stereotype of eating avocado toast on a daily basis, millennials are spending more on housing than the baby boomers and generation X.

The millennial generation has faced a difficult job market early in their careers and an unaffordable housing market, which leaves them to spend as much on rent as past generations did on a mortgage payment, according to joint center for housing studies of Harvard University.

So, how can COC help their students find a job in the field they studied in?

“Well, we have a career center and any student that is enrolled in the college can take advantage of what the career center offers.” said Eric Harnish, the public information officer at COC. “There’s job listings there but there’s also help in preparing to go out and applying for a job and interview.”

The career center offers internships, jobs and a staff to help prepare for a job.

For all the freshly graduated millennials in Santa Clarita, the career center even offers help to past graduates.

“At the career center we help them with preparing for the next step,” said Hiba Edgheim, job developer at the career center.

By having one-on-one appointments, students and even graduates are able to work on their resumes, applications, cover letters and set up their linkedin professional accounts.

The unemployment rate has gone down for college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher from 5 percent in 2011 to 2.1 percent in 2018. But, The millennial unemployment rate stands at an unfortunate 12.8 percent, compared to the national average of 4.9 percent. 

Maybe the career center has helped the employment rate of Santa Clarita residents.  

“I got my job at Men’s Wearhouse through the career center,” said Savannah Doss, accounting and business major at COC. “After they helped me redo my resume, I felt like I was getting so many job offers.”

Doss has been working at Men’s Wearhouse for three months now and is happy the career center at COC was able to help.

So why is the millennial unemployment at an historic low?

According to The Association of American Colleges and Universities many employers believe recent college graduates are underdeveloped in workplace skills, such as communication, critical thinking, and organization.

In London, A University of Westminster graduate sent out more than 100 applications to United Kingdom employers and had 16 interviews in return, according to BBC capital. This is problematic because even if the employer is asking for a college degree, it doesn’t guarantee anything will happen with it.

With this generation finding it harder to get a job and for that reason, cannot save money this is causing a terrible epidemic.

Millennials are finding inexpensive ways to build their skill sets. Employers want to see skills and experience. If you’re just getting started, that may seem impossible but there can always be another way.

“I also got my music internship through the career center,” said Doss. “It was down the street from school and I only went there twice a week.”

College of the Canyons even sent out gas cards to all the unpaid interns working through the school at the end of the semester.

This does not mean that the career center will guarantee a full time job by the time you graduate, but  just because it’s hard, and there are no guarantees, doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort.

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