Millennials, born from 1981 and 1996, are currently the largest segment in the workplace and is expected to grow, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. What does this mean for Generation Z college students?
Although the unemployment rate is down to 3.7 percent, many college students, depending on their majors, face hardship as they struggle to land themselves a job in their industry.
Namidu De Silva, a junior studying geology at Minnesota State University, Mankato, fears his lack of experience and his status as an international student will harm his chances of getting a job after graduation.
De Silva said, “It’s basically based on how much experience you have. And so, after graduating people look at the amount of experience you get. You get experience by getting internships, co-ops, working part time. It’s kind of a cycle situation going on where sometimes the more experience you already have the more likely the people are to hire you, so it’s a lot of competition going on, being an international it’s even harder.”
Pooja Gurung, who is also an international student at MNSU and a junior studying psychology, agrees as she commented, “The process becomes a lot more complicated when internationals are involved, hence, a lot of companies hesitate to hire us which is completely understandable. It costs a lot of money and is a very time-consuming process.”
Gurung explained, “How it works is that international students have to apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) which is kind of like a work permit and usually lasts for three years. Some companies might agree to sponsor you, so basically, they’re going to do all of your paperwork to get your green card or work permit or citizenship, and so on. But that’s really difficult to get by because it’s very expensive and time consuming to sponsor an international so most companies try to stay away from that. It’s very difficult for me, especially as a psychology major. One of my biggest fears is that I won’t be able to find a job.”
However, not all students face this problem, as many fields are growing as the job outlook for that industry increases.
Bosaybah Ly, a junior with an elementary education major at Winona State University, Rochester, stated, “For my program we have to take a licensure, and there’s a process, and we have a portfolio to show. We have to do 15 hours of experience before even getting into the program.”
Ly continued, “Since I’m going through the Winona State program, if I finish there’s a guaranteed job here at the Rochester Public Schools because I’ve done clinical work and have the proper connections. I’m pretty confident that I will find a job after I graduate.”
Madison Diemert, the News Editor for the MSU Reporter, stated, “Yes, I am afraid of my employment options after I graduate. There’s a huge stigma around my major of English that I’ll be unemployed. I am actually thinking of going to grad school right after I graduate to increase my chances.”
Diemert stated, “I don’t think it matters at the end, though, as long as I’m happy and led a good life.”
Header photo from Reporter Archives.