Work, and other future endeavors

Fantastically interesting (and frightening) article over at Business Week today [though – I could do without the auto-play video ad, BW].

The phenomenon appears to be affecting even those with professional degrees (JD, MD, etc.):

At Northwestern University Law School, at least three-quarters of students who graduated in May had their employment deferred, in some cases up to a year, says Bill Chamberlain, head of the school’s career center.

That’s simply staggering – at least 75% of Northwestern Law grads can’t find a job.  NW is a very good school, in a major city (Chicago), and the grads are having that tough of a time.  Things must be seriously bad out there.

Another worry, aside from the simple fact that you don’t have any income, is a phenomenon called “scarring.”

Young people have figured out how to avoid horrid blanks on their résumés.

The unemployment crisis among the young is not as dramatic as the financial crisis of a year ago. But it may turn out to have longer-lasting effects.

“Scarring” – not getting that experience while you’re young puts you on a lower career trajectory for the rest of your life.  Oh, great, thanks.

The video associated with the article talks about the “clash of expectations”: someone with a graduate degree who “expects to be paid commensurate” but lacks experience.  What does that even mean?  Maybe it means that graduate degrees aren’t worth nearly as much as people think (a topic I have addressed here before).

Also mentioned in the video is a “sub-minimum wage” for young people and people who are training.  Are you kidding?  Think about that – how will that make the “scarring” less of an issue?  It just sets people on a lower career trajectory from Day 1 – and makes their climb up the corporate ladder that much longer.

At this point, perhaps I need to adjust my expectations for the future – or simply stay in school forever.


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