New Grads Now Earning Degree In Frustration - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

New Grads Now Earning Degree In Frustration

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New college graduates are being schooled in Economics. They thought their degrees would open doors, but instead in this job market many of those doors are slammed shut.

Time is running out for college seniors at SDSU. A recent nationwide survey shows less than 20 percent of 2009 grads who have applied for a job actually have one, compared to the more than 50 percent of 2007 seniors who'd applied for a job and gotten hired by graduation.

According to Dr. James Tarbox, director of career services at SDSU, it's one of the worst job markets he's ever seen. He says employers are hiring, but there's a lot of competition.

To set yourself apart, he says first apply for an internship. It's a foot in the door and shows an employer you're trainable.

Engineering grad Derek Sacco's hoping his paid internship pays off.

"It's only a summer internship so I'll try to make it as good an internship as I can and hopefully they'll offer me a permanent job," Sacco said.

The second thing you should do is network using the three "F"s.

"Typically our survey shows that friends, family and faculty are the ones who provide the greatest opportunities for students," Dr. Tarbox said.

Third - be flexible.

"Don't assume that your major becomes your job. Look for many opportunities," Dr. Tarbox said.

When it comes time for the job interview, Dr. Tarbox says have a positive attitude and always practice with a mock interview.

"They should be prepared to answer ‘Who am I, what do I bring in terms of skill sets, experiences, my ability to learn to the workplace,'" he said.

It's hard for most of us to talk about ourselves, so that mock interview with a parent or a friend is so important.

Doctor Tarbox says don't just list things off your bio. Employers want to hear concrete examples of your accomplishments, leadership roles, and do your research on the company so you can talk about why you're a good fit.

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