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. jEREMY


    IT = RICH

    May 20, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
    • LAH

      Not necessarily. I have a degree in communications and another in acting; I now own and run a very successful small business less than 2 years out of college.
      It's not always what you get your degree in, but how you apply your knowledge and experience.

      May 20, 2011 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. R

    Graduating in a few weeks. Majoring in economics and accounting, and doing some comp sci. Got a job offer in the fall at an accounting firm, $56k. Accounting is always a safe bet

    May 20, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • R

      Got the offer last fall

      May 20, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • BeenThereDoneThat

      Its a sacrifice of going crazy or doing something you actually enjoy. For example, I love working with numbers. However I am given pleasure by working with much more than just addition/subtraction/balancing accounts. I love extrapolating, working complex formulas, and working with time value of money. Accounting jobs are out there – plenty (practically a government secured field) but how much can you take of it. Ask a tenured accountant and see what they tell you. lol Good luck mate.

      May 20, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
    • R

      There is some variety to the accounting job opportunities at a large firm. I'll be on the IT Auditing/Advisory side. Sure there will be plenty of boring, long hours and travel. But the chance to learn about a variety of businesses as well.

      May 20, 2011 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
    • BeenThereDoneThat

      @R Very nice! Be careful though, with ERP systems like SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft Dynamics the big needs for accountants is going to drop because auditing reports can be pulled within seconds and you no longer need a full department of accountants on hand. Just a few that know how to do specific things. I am seeing this as a trend in big organizations. Additionally, the CEO will take credit and say they cut costs to receive a bigger bonus. As usual.

      May 20, 2011 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. Robin

    I just graduated 5 days ago! You know where i'm going? Graduate school. Hopefully by the time I graduate in 2014 the job market will be better.

    May 20, 2011 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. BeenThereDoneThat

    If you want a high paying job, go to an Ivy League school. Its simple. Up in the Northeast thats how things work. You think Goldman Sachs, UBS, or RBC are going to hire someone from an unknown or state university? Highly unlikely. Those are the people they make money off of from not knowing what they do with their money. 😀 Ohhh, how I love finance. 🙂 Think, NYU, Cornell, Wharton, etc.

    May 20, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Cranky

      What is it with finance people and their worship of degrees? I once worked in IT at an accounting firm and it was the only place I've ever seen that's said to me "Well, your over 10 years of experience is great, but I'd rather you had a Master's." In the end, they "took a chance" on me and by the time I left 3 years later they were asking me to stay.

      May 20, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Colin

      I'd rather befriend a lawyer than someone in the financial field these days.

      May 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Josh

    See these posts scares the you know what out of me for my children who are 13 & 9. I am very fortunate in that I got a job with So Cal Edison 13 years ago as an entry level utility worker. I have worked my way up to Control Operator and now make about 140k a year. I have been on my kids about learning a trade. I attended 1 year of college and am a firm believer that hard work gets you where you need to be. Attending 4-5 years of college and coming out with nothing but debt is just crazy! Again, my life here on this beautiful Island I live on is a little different... Good luck all

    May 20, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ellis from Panama

    Extra mayo on this Oscar Mayor weinner please.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey

    I just tried to post a comment containing two bits of information known as "key" to every successful person, and it was censored, perhaps because it might have struck a censor as unfair or elitist.
    Solve it yourself, CNN.

    May 20, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rita

    The non-whites that quickly learn to scream discrimination will have the most opportunities for jobs. Problem is that those are the ones that least want to work.

    May 20, 2011 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jeanine

    I think we should go back 40 years and illegalize biracial marriage. Kids with one white parent and one black parent couldn't list black as their race to help them get into college. Besides, like Hines Ward said on Dancing With The Stars this week, it's really hard growing up biracial.

    May 20, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      I wish we could go back 40 years and illegalize reproduction by people this brain-dead.

      Yes, Hines Ward seems horribly mal-adjusted and unsuccessful. Better he not have been born.

      May 21, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nic

      Hey there, thanks for providing me with one hell of a laugh today. I really needed it. Now go crawl back under a rock and stay there because your ignorance is mind bending. Seriously. Go. Now!

      May 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy



    May 20, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. Chris

    Take it for what it is worth. but everyone in my class that had a degree in computer information systems is now employed and well on their way to topping 70k/year within 5 years. Buinesses love that degree.

    May 20, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Nic

      Good to know. I already have an Associate Degree in Business Admin but that's the equivalent of what a high school diploma used to be 10-20 years ago. Computer Info Specialist degree, here I come!

      May 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ellis from Panama

    I only have 12 cavities. I have a mouth to prove it.

    May 20, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. a worker

    The problem with the kids is they dont want to work my son is o his third degree and still not working i have a roofing buissness and he draws welfare and goes to school

    May 20, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • SickOfBoomers

      I agree. Your son shamed you by wanting to get an education and continue learning. God forbid the son of a laborer would grow up to be one of those sissy book nerds that spends his entire life learning.

      Oh, to be a hard working regular American guy like you. But, something in me decided that I wanted to be able to stand up straight when I am 50, not be bitter at the world around me after years of being worked to the bone for mediocre pay, and come home at the end of the day and still have energy to be a person. That was after doing some summers of labor work, and realizing that I had more intelligence than that and I'd be wasting my potential by cutting grass and spreading mulch forever. Maybe your son made the same realization, and I'm sure he'd appreciate being told how proud you are of his academic achievements instead of belittling, sorry big word, putting down his achievements I'm sure he holds in high regard.

      May 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JP

    There are thousands of science and engineering jobs going unfulfilled in the country right now. Is it time for students to start picking their majors based on market demand and supply?

    May 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. James

    Majors that will get you a job generally fall under the umbrellas of engineering, nursing, biological sciences, physical sciences, and business. All other majors will leave you an indentured servant, working a coffee shop to pay off loans and ramen or forced into grad school where you will become overeducated and promote the redundant feedback loop that has become an education in the humanities.

    May 21, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
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