Irrational Career Moves Some College Graduates Are Making Due to the Economy

Irrational Career Moves Some College Graduates Are Making Due to the Economy

A significant mistake that some recent college graduates make is letting the current economy control their career path rather than letting current circumstance dictate only the first job or two they take after graduation.

For instance, some recent graduates get a MBA purely to avoid the possibility of unemployment or an hourly job for a year or two is costly and often shows little to no ROI.

Unfortunately, running to an MBA program is just one of the many potential significant career mistakes that our younger generations are making now.

Below are some career decisions popular with recent college graduates in this down economy, and the reasons why these once prestigious careers now provide little to no guarantee of gainful employment.

While some recent graduates are passionate about the below careers and do very well, they may now be in the minority.

Law School –

While law is necessary for democracy and there are some very good attorneys out there who make a difference, some recent graduates are going into the field for the wrong reasons and end up paying dearly.

20 years ago, when a young man or woman said they were in law school, it was met with a certain amount of respect. Nearly all those who graduated did well, were respected members in their community and could count on job security that was not nearly as economically as sensitive as it is today.

Then, as more and more Americans began getting bachelors degrees, by default, law school became a realistic career option – a lucrative one….or so they many thought.

Soon, supply of attorneys skyrocketed and the slightest drop in hiring demand was devastating. Now, to become wealthy as an attorney and justify the cost of law school, a college grad must be in the top 5% of talent.

While law school is worth it for those who truly enjoy law, it is detrimental to those who do not and the field has gotten too competitive not to be 100% dedicated.

Nursing and Healthcare –

The economy has scared today’s youth straight into nursing school. Yes. It comes with a decent paycheck for life and job stability, but the ROI is terrible with the inflated education that is now necessary because the competitiveness to work in a hospital.

In the 1980s, working among the sick was so low in demand that droves of women from 2nd and 3rd world countries were able to gain not only employment, but lifelong citizenship in the States after completing nursing school in their home countries. (Migration and the globalisation of health care: the health worker exodus? By John Connell)

I have a cousin who is becoming a nurse and I when I heard that she is going to a near Ivy-League school to do so (because otherwise you can’t get a job), I was highly surprised – blown back one may describe it as. When all is said and done, she (like many students) will pay $400,000 + interest to guarantee $100,000 / year for life. That is not counting opportunity cost, i.e., years that she could be working.

While some may be passionate for nursing, you can’t help but be skeptical that our passion for helping the sick has skyrocketed to such as proportion in just a few decades. Again, this is another potential costly outlet that is more driven by the current economic conditions rather than passion for the field.

Masters in Business Administration –

Now, it may be just as lucrative to study on your own rather than go to a formal MBA program.

What many of these grads don’t understand is that you could study how to be a hedge fund manager 19 hours a day, but if you’re doing it simply for the money, you may be able to fake a report card, but not real life.

There are some very good MBA programs that exist. Though, for each one that does, there are 15 recent grads attending because they don’t want to do work that they feel may be beneath them upon graduating college.

No longer is a MBA a shortcut to the corner office. It is what you do with it. You can compound this problem with the fact that recent college graduates don’t have enough experience in the real world (though many believe they may) to decipher the good from the aloof, unrealistic and out of touch MBA programs some colleges put forward.

Since I started my executive search firm, the most outrageous, outlandish salary requests I have witnessed have not come from “middle-managers” nor did they come from recent college grads. They come from students graduating with their MBAs (not who had work experience in-between, but by grads going straight in).

In Closing:

As repeated throughout this article, post-grad studies such as those in law, nursing, and business management can signal intense interest in a field, true talent and drive, and of course can herald long-term contentment and success.

But during the Great Recession, the uptick in popularity of post-grad fields of study only heralds larger groups of student debt holders, while those who would have gone on to be the dedicated nurse practitioners, the talented and detail-oriented lawyers, and the insightful and novelly thinking MBAs would have risen to the top of their classes in any economy.

The worst mistake you can make as a recent or upcoming bachelor’s graduate in this economy is to delay your entry into the real world by pursuing a graduate degree you don’t know how you might use. Decisive drive beats unnecessary letters after your name any day.

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *