December 6, 2011

Despite high unemployment of recent grads, students still believe a degree is their best bet

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

As seniors study for the second to last finals of their college careers, the question looms: what’s next? All are plagued by the daunting task of securing a job in the dismal economy that is supposedly rebounding. Stories of college graduates, who are forced to move back in with their parents because of a lack of job prospects and a mountain of student debt, haunt many graduating seniors.

Despite these real concerns, Elaine Chao says that “a college degree is still the best protection against unemployment.”

Chao, a benefactor at UofL, emphasizes the value of a college degree despite student debt and the unemployment rate in the economy.

“Education is the best protection against ruin in hard times,” said Chao. In an economy that is in a four year recession, hard times have affected everyone, including college graduates, but those with a college degree are more likely to survive and grow when hard times do come.

Devon Gaines, freshmen biology major, said, a college education “is necessary to find a good job in this economy.” Finding a job and keeping a job when the hard times fall is the primary concern of many college students who will soon enter the workforce.

The worries of finding a job are not the only problems plaguing many today. Josh Lynn, a junior history and economics double major, said, a college education “has become a necessity to get a higher paying job.”

Although these concerns are justified by the dismal state of our economy, Vice President Joe Biden assured students in Pittsburgh, “It is worth it, because a college degree matters.”

U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, said, “Students with bachelor’s degrees…are now projected to earn about one million dollars more over their lifetime than students with only a high school diploma.”

A college degree matters especially when it comes to paying the heap of student loans that for some are inevitable to materialize their college dreams. The dismal economy and the rising student debt throughout the country “makes me weary taking out student loans,” Lynn said.

Although Gaines and Lynn are attentive to the current economic climate in our nation affecting unemployment, both said it has not affected their choice of major and future career.

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Photo: Flikr/UniversityofLouisville

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