BY JOSEPH TROCHEZ
The Pew Research Center released a survey of 2,002 adults finding correlations with the unemployment rate and educational status. A student with a high school diploma appears to be at a disadvantage with a 12.2 percent unemployment rate. Students can improve their odds by reaching each educational plateau.
The unemployment rate is 8.1 percent for an associate degree. For a bachelor’s degree or more, it is 3.8 percent. A bachelor’s degree gives a student an 8.4 percent advantage over high school graduates.
Elka Torpey wrote an article in 2013 about the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment projections that lends credence to Pew’s survey. In both cases, one with a bachelor’s degree has a lower unemployment rate.
Students seem to believe this leg up on the competition is about the experiences they gain and the ability to network while at college.
Emily Sorochynsky is about to graduate from Boonton High School. She has been accepted to Richard Stockton College where she plans to major in occupational therapy. She chose this field because of her uncle.
Her uncle had Guillain-Barre syndrome, which caused him to lose his motor skills. The senior saw how going to occupational therapy made a significant difference in his life.
“That was my inspiration,” Sorochynsky said. “I want to make this difference for other people.”
She said she knows the necessity of college because her occupation requires a master’s degree.
“Having just a high school diploma wouldn’t get me there,” Sorochynsky said.
The soon-to-be, college student said being an active student is an important part of the process. Students should participate in extracurricular activities and apply for internships because they can help build relationships with future bosses, she said.
County College of Morris student Daniel Akpatsu agreed.
“You never know who you’re going to meet in college,” Akpatsu said. “You never know how they can help you.”
Akpatsu is from Accra, Ghana. He’s graduating at the end of the semester and transferring to Bloomfield College. He hopes to further explore communication and eventually land a job at the U.N.
“I’ve seen poverty and strife,” Akpatsu said. “I want to go back and help people.”
CCM alumnus Kevin Moore has already seen the benefits of networking. He’s currently working towards a master’s in English at William Paterson University.
He said a degree definitely helps, but emphasized the significance of networking. One of his professors, Chris Weaver, helped Moore obtain his current job at the student writing center.
“By making relationships you will be able to do something with your degree when you’re done,” Moore said.
The English student also stressed taking general education classes seriously. He said that the courses can help students figure out what they want from life. Taking educational psychology made him realize that becoming a public school teacher was not his career path.
“Dealing with kids is too hard,” Moore said. “I’m not cut out for that.”