Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's Your College Degree Worth?

Here is what one jobseeker, Bea Dewing says in an article for the Career Journal, "A degree isn't any big guarantee of employment, it's a basic requirement, a step you have to take to even be considered for many professional jobs."

Having worked with hundreds of new college grads over the years, I am always amazed and how many of people believe that the college degree is the end of a dream. My job is always to remind them gently that although it marks a significant accomplishment, it is really just the beginning - again.

There are a lot of factors that contribute to the value of your college degree including:
- reputation of college or university
- achievement and involvement of alumni
- perceived return on investment from organizations that recruit on your campus

Dewing pondered the value of her own degree, when after a layoff from Sprint, she found it difficult to gain another job at the same rate. Dewing finally landed a job with Wal-Mart at around a third of the salary she made before.

The article continues, Dewing has a new appreciation for how insecure any job can be and how little a college degree by itself is really worth. "There is enough competition for entry-level positions that employers are going to ask, 'What else have you done in your life besides go to college?'" she says. "And in information technology, a portfolio of hands-on experience with programming is a really good thing to have."

In reality, this doesn't just apply to the IT sector. New college graduates should know that employers want to see more than the degree. They are looking for behaviors and the more positive campus involvement you have to show, the more competitive you will be.


Lindsey Pollak said...

Marcia -

Great post! I'm glad to know about your blog and just added you to my blogroll at Looking forward to keeping in touch!

- Lindsey Pollak

Marcie said...

Thanks for stopping by Lindsey.

Your book is an amazing resource for upcoming college grads and take a lot of the fear out of the transition.