It’s a Rough Job Market for College Grads in 2014

Accenture, a global leader in management consulting, has published their 2014 College Graduate Employment Report. The employment prospects for recent college grads are still quite bleak.  Even amongst those who graduated in 2012 and 2013, steady and fruitful employment has not yet been acquired by most. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 26% of 2012/2013 college grads are making less than $19,000
  • 13% of 2012/2013 College Grads have been unable to find a job since graduation
  • 46% of 2012/2013 grads are underemployed in 2014, a 5% jump since last year
  • 42% of 2012/2013 college grads are living at home w/parents
  • Only 21% of employed 2012/2013 college grads are earning more than $40k

Clearly, the lingering affects of the global recession of 2008 have made the job market less robust than in prior years.  Yet, beyond the low demand for new employees at the entry level, there seems to be two unmeasurable forces additionally at work.


First, is the increased global competition for American jobs.  Top students come from all over the globe to study and work in the U.S. and their presence is likely creating more competition at every level of employment. Further competition comes from global co-locationing of jobs. That is, many of America’s and the world’s top companies no longer host all of their top employees in their American headquarters.  It is quite easy and often much less expensive to have employee talent located in other parts of the globe, even if the U.S. is your main market.  Look at places like Hong Kong, Bangalore, and Dubai to see where many top corporate jobs are stashed away.

Secondly, employers in the U.S. seem to be dissatisfied with the skills and preparation that American college graduates are bringing to the workplace.  In the most recent research by Gallup, one of the world’s largest and most important research and polling organizations, a vast majority of business leaders believe that colleges and universities are not graduating students with the skills and competencies that their business require. Here are some of the findings from the most recent Survey of U.S. Business Leaders:

  • Only 33% of U.S. business leaders believe that higher education institutions are producing graduates with the skills and competencies that their business needs
  • 11% believe that they must hire foreign-born workers due to a shortage of American workers with needed skill sets
  • 70% believe that a candidate’s college major is somewhat or very important
  • 79% believe that a candidate’s applied skills in the field are very important
  • In terms of shortcomings in skills in recent college graduates, U.S. business leaders point to lack of internships and on the job experiences, poor communications in writing, and poor people skills to be the biggest problems for today’s college grads

As the parent of a future college student, you must be confident that your child will be receiving the kind of college education that leads to rapid and gainful employment or placement in top graduate school programs.  Too many college graduates are left without fruitful opportunities because of poor college choices in terms of school and major, ignorance of the marketplace, poor performance in college, and the lack of appropriate guidance and preparation.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.