Friday, October 21, 2011

Long-Term Challenge 

Here is a long-term challenge for the country -- students who can't repay education loans.  The challenge has created a divide between the college-trained young and the government, and it is destroying the middle class.  The irony is that to do well in the US, one needs a college education, but the cost of that education has risen so far above inflation that students are in debt until their 30s or 40s.  The deeper irony is that even with a college education, many students cannot find work.   Citizens are angry -- and they should be.  Part of the Occupy Wall Street movement is young people without jobs who feel they have been lied to. How does one communicate to them?  The answer is simple but difficult.  Give them a job and get them started on the road to the middle class.  But, when there are no jobs available?  This country risks losing a generation of workers who become an educated underclass.  It is a problem that even activist government can't solve.

This generation's graduating college students are leaving college or university, having worked hard in their field of study and typically working (often for free) at internships to ensure they have adequate experience for the "real world" only to find that they cannot even enter the "real world." The current unemployment rates are staggering and bringing about new issues for 20 something year-olds that have forced them to resort to different options that were never as popular. Freelancing, working at non-profits or even going back into an internship program have become more common than they used to be. However, social media has played an important role in the job crisis because while there are few jobs out there, it is easier than ever to find them via job search engines. In addition, it is also much easier to research a company when going into an interview to make sure you have extensive background knowledge to feel confident in acing it.

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