Jeff Selingo (LinkedIn)
The first question in last night’s town-hall presidential debate came from a college student, Jeremy Epstein, who asked the candidates how they would reassure him that he’d be able to support himself after graduation.
Unemployment among recent college graduates remains above 6 percent (although it has dropped in the last year and is still much lower than for those with only a high-school education). If you listen to many economists, presidents have little control over creating jobs.
Here are five ways to put more college graduates to work:
Encourage work at start-ups.
The recruiters who come to college campuses every spring are the big Fortune 500 companies. Rarely do small businesses or start-ups have the time or money to spend on campus hiring fairs. We need to find more avenues to get college graduates placed in burgeoning companies. One idea I like is Venture for America. It’s a new program, modeled after Teach for America, that places graduates in start-up companies for two years in smaller cities across the country.
Help graduates create start-ups.
The period right after college graduation is a time in life when people are probably most willing to take risks. We should encourage graduates with good ideas by linking them to mentors and places to work like The Fort in Washington, DC. One reason students look for full-time, paying gigs after graduation is because of their student loans. There are ways for them to defer payments or pay back the loans as a part of their income, but we need programs specifically designed for entrepreneurs.
Improve career information given to students.
It seems nearly every college claims to have a job-placement rate of 90-plus percent. Those numbers are often based on surveys of graduates. They don’t tell you how or where they are employed, nor how many people responded to the survey. More colleges need to be like St. Olaf College in Minnesota, which has published detailed employment and salary data for 92 percent of its Class of 2011.
READ FULL STORY HERE: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121017152951-17000124-five-ways-to-improve-the-job-prospects-of-recent-college-grads