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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Graduates and the Job Market: Helping them Heigh-Ho Off to Work

Updated: May 27, 2020

Looking at oneself in the mirror the day before graduating and the day after, the average person will not see a difference. But looking deep into the eyes, into the soul, can reveal an eagle ready to soar or a human ready to sweat while building a career. ~ David M. Reile, Ph.D.

Photo by Seyi Ariyo on Unsplash

FOCUS ON: Backpacks to Briefcases

Google that catchy term, “backpacks to briefcases” and you will find hundreds if not millions of links that offer something on the topic of what graduates are facing this month. One source is the book with that title found on (2006, published by Life After Graduation). Several other search results are seminars or conference topics. But the majority of the results are from colleges that present graduating students with keys to a successful transition upon graduation. Referrals to a university career services center could be the best graduation gift.

JOB SEARCHING: Law School Grads

When corporations cut legal spending after the economy declined in 2008, law firms were also affected. Not only did hiring slow, but layoffs increased. Law school graduates, especially in 2010 and forward, often only found work that didn’t require a law degree. Paying school loans (average debt accumulated was $77,364 to $112,007) caused financial hardships. The grads are wondering if they will ever see the good life they believed they would be living with a big law firm job. Read more from the NY Times.


At both the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels, the top three in-demand degrees are finance, accounting and computer science. According to the Job Outlook 2015 from the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), 260 employers were surveyed last fall to determine this data. Additional high demand degrees include mechanical engineering, logistics/supply chain and information sciences & systems. View the details on

YOUR LIBRARY: Occupational Trends

Keeping up with job market trends is often beyond one person’s capabilities. Finding a trend and sharing it, in a concise format is the goal of the Occupational Trends webpage from the National Career Development Association (NCDA). Brief statements, that include links to the valid source, are posted regularly and just may help in career decision-making. Readers are invited to submit trends they locate, which keeps the page fresh. Many hands make the work light! View all the recent trends on the NCDA Resources webpage.

TOP TEN: Commencement Speeches Worth Sharing

Don’t wait until the big day in May to gain inspiration worth sharing. Messages like “The Three A’s of Awesome” and “The Happy Secret to Better Work” are powerful enough to be heard and helpful any day. Listen to these ten graduation talks that students, alumni, counselors, people of all ages/stages need to hear now.


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover. ” - Mark Twain
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” - Buddha


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