Overheard on CNN.com: Will they ever get good jobs?
May 19th, 2011
06:11 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Will they ever get good jobs?

Comments of the Day:

"I'm a 2008 Economics graduate and I've had to change my career goals three times. Despite my bad luck, I've got my head up and am still charging hard. Bottom line is grit your teeth, eat lead, spit bullets, punch a grizzly, keep going through hell." - bravodelta

"We, the recent college graduates, are going to be the strongest, wisest and most determined generation this world has seen in a very long time." - HawaiianCane

Fresh out of college, slim hope for a job

This year's college graduates will be competing with millions of unemployed and under-employed graduates from earlier in the Great Recession, according to a new national research report out of Rutgers University. Some CNN.com readers said it could be easy, with the right major.

JMAA111807 said, "I just graduated May 2011, found my job in December 2010, starting salary of 65,000, and everyone told me I was crazy for doing engineering. All it takes is a little hard work in college and everything else will come easy." Chrisscott48 said, "You need to go where the job market is: that is IT, Finance, and Medical. I graduated a little over a year ago. Found a job in one month. Seven months later I took another job and increased my salary by 17K. I am in the IT field."

NocommentCNN said, "Woo Hoo, I graduated! They told me at my commencement that I am now better than everyone else. I have $80,000 of debt and no prospects of a job. This is the new slavery in America. The return on investment for a college degree is not there and has not been there in decades."

The Great Recession's lost generation

And how are some of those older grads doing? Hemuda01 said, "I graduated with my bachelor's degree in 2007 with double major in finance and economics. I could not find a job. Now I am going for a degree in IT." Lenoriarose replied, "Wish you luck but the IT field sucks too. My husband can't find work that isn't temporary contract; he has a masters in computer engineering and was in the field with IBM for 5 years. I started my own company since I can't find a job as a special education teacher since most districts are laying off."

monalicia said, "I graduated from a top university, and I now bartend at a strip club. This job pays more than an entry-level office job, which is the only other thing that I'm qualified for, according to the many job rejection letters I've received. It pays the bills, but with every year it gets harder to explain the growing gap in my resume." aaronby said, "Hardly ever do I meet a college graduate working in the field they studied. They aren't scientists, engineers or executives; they are shift managers at Wal-Mart or the Gap, and most of them very bitter about it."

Many said the problem was too many college grads and not enough students in the trade schools. diluded000 said, "We oversupplied the college system by eliminating trades and manual skills from high school. We made this mess ourselves." PandaWanda replied, "A college degree today is the high school diploma of 1950. And our young people pay through the nose for it." LeftWingL0se said, "Maybe education does not lead to success."

Sweetwalter said, "My neighbor's son went from high school into an apprentice job with an independent auto repair shop. He saved his money for five years and now owns his own shop with three employees. He has no student loans, a great credit score, and all the work he can handle."

Obama announces 'new chapter in American diplomacy'

How has U.S. policy changed in the advent of the Arab Spring? Speaking at the State Department, President Obama said, among other things, that while the United States can't intervene militarily everywhere, it had to act in Libya to prevent an imminent massacre. He also said: "The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps."

Guest said, "Obama is a much better speaker than Bush, but he has the same ideas, that we are going to change the world: Just shake, bake and instant democracy. Years are necessary for the democratic socialization process. Just get us out and let them resolve their issues, Mr President."

Jrod86 asked, "Why in the world is our president focusing on the Middle East and not his own nation? Explain!" fofotavour replied, "Because the world is connected and you cannot just isolate yourself from the world. Furthermore, there are opportunist countries such as China, who cannot wait to forge friendship with these people and will give them anything, including nuclear, for the right price."

BCJonah1111 said, "Your president and his policies are spot on, and since he has become president this side of the border stopped holding its breath."

What the Internet is hiding from you

When you search the Web, Google and other online hubs are tailoring the results to fit your profile, writes Eli Pariser, former director of MoveOn.org, in his new book. Results will differ from person to person, meaning that what appears to be an unbiased "world view" offered by the Internet is really one narrowed to fit each searcher.

jslam said, "Good article, something I never considered personally. It seems that in the age of information overload, the only thing that filters through confirms your preconceived notions." Guest said, "Big brother isn't the government, its Google/Facebook. You should be scared."

brayrobin said, "It's true. Now when you do a search, instead of the information you seek, you are getting page after page of ad listings. This will kill the web faster than anything else. Even the ads on web sites like CNN are out of control. I am more likely to ignore an ad the larger it is."

matreyia said, "We are at the mercy of Google's filters until some one creates a new engine which is unbiased. Currently, companies that pay to have their names artificially put up on the search results bar are the ones benefiting from Google. The rest of us are just captive audiences."

Genesis1267 said, "These companies are doing stuff that is really on a thin line. For example, after a week of using GMail, I noticed advertisements familiar to the text of my personal emails. The software was apparently reading my emails. I verified my conclusion with an associate who started using GMail at the same time. I don't like anyone reading my emails except the recipients!"

But other CNN.com readers thought it was a nonissue. PatHenry76 said, "It is naive to think that before the Internet people actually sought out views different from theirs. The Internet has only changed how FAST people can access information. People will naturally seek out what comforts them." jason22 said, "People have been buying newspapers aligned with their political views forever."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below, or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Otacon

    The IT field is a tough field to break in to. Years of practice are hard to come by when even getting an entry-level unpaid internship requires prior experience on the field (wait what!?). Sounds like they're blocking that field off from the fresh meat to save themselves the time from picking and choosing within a crowd of amateurs who were taught poor skills in college and did little research outside of what their professors taught them.

    /disgruntled IT major in college whose cannot find an internship

    May 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Petra

      I found a IT internship without having experience. They are looking for people who have more than a couple years of course work.

      May 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Petra

      P. S. My internship was for pay.

      May 19, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      you are wrong. You need to go where the technology hubs are. That is RDU, Silicon Value, and maybe a few major cities. Once you get your foot in the door you will be able to find a gig anywhere. Start out as help desk. That's what I did. Within 7 months I upped my salary by an additional 25k a year and am now a Systems Admin with a new company.

      May 20, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. DT

    The whole issue is framed incorrectly. "College degree" is a term like "sport". There's croquet, and then there's cage fighting; they have nothing to do with one another. Likewise, a liberal arts degree does nothing to prepare you for most jobs; I don't care if you went to Stanford. Technical degrees tend to be useful, even if obtained from community college. Certain degrees are useless in the job market, while others are indespensible. We need to make this distinction, and talk about which types of degrees are good financial investments, and which types are not. This seems obvious...

    May 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • nickfr21

      Absolutely, especially in a bad economy. Also, why do so many people get psychology degrees? Talk about a waste.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. meee!!!

    and yes people do get job offerings prior to graduation

    May 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lonnie

    @DT, Very good points. I would add that it's time for states to do a thorough review of all their public universities and stop offering degrees that have no value in the market place, or at least only offer these courses as a minor degree. It's an unnecessary waste of state resources that could be better well spent elsewhere.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • MK

      how about instead of schools and government doing telling people what to do, students actually take an interest in their own futures and do some research. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that some degrees are more valuable in terms of job opportunities than others. Why does the government have to tell people this stuff? Do a little research and figure it out for yourself.

      May 20, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    When the baby boomers retire then you may apply until then keep making those grrrreat flamebroiled burgers for me!

    May 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Wacko Jacko

    Be an Actuary!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • TonyP

      That would require a degree in mathematics but most people simply aren't smart enough to do that.

      May 19, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Petra

      They maybe do math if they weren't so lazy.

      May 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Petra

      Excuse my poor grammar. I wish we could edit after posting.

      May 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Annunaki

    "Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!"

    It's not duplicate if it's not getting posted.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Richard Cheese

    Ha...the IT field. Good luck. I'm quitting the IT field after 17 years. You can have my job! Good riddance!

    May 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • TechNoMore

      As are myself and many of my colleagues. There's no future in tech for Americans unless you can create the next Google. Soon the only Americans actually working at American companies will be the CEO, President, and VPs.

      May 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Squares

    Congratulations to the graduates! Hang tough...


    May 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JWG

    The Asians, Indians, and any smart, nerdy white kids will get all the jobs. The remaining kids get to move back in with their parents.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • whatswrongwiththat

      So the people who go to school to study and learn will get the jobs? For shame.

      May 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jing Hu

      Um actually caucasion gradutaes have a much higher oppurtunity than minorities.

      May 19, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sagebrush Shorty

    Welcome to the world.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Empty_Fifth

    affirmitive action will make sure unqualified mexicans and blacks get the good jobs

    May 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jin

    Graphic Design = dead end... More to life than designing business cards. :@)

    May 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    If you're an IT professional looking for work try the medical field. Hospital IT spending is skyrocketing and there is a lot of hiring going on. There is also lots of positions for those with clinical experience to move into IT. If you have nursing experience and IT education, or vice versa, than there are a lot of comfy jobs with huge salaries available.

    May 19, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcin

      John is so right. I just got in at one of the major hospitals here – and it is great. I am working in the Computer and Network Operations department, pretty much level 1 support ( entry-level ) and I am making ~30/hr. Which after only taking a year of college I think is pretty good

      May 20, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. Zeke

    America.....Capitalism is a Biotch when its not working for you! Just move to China or India and stop wasting time. The whole world does it. It's just our turn. B&M all you want...things are not going to change.

    May 19, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
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