Underemployment of College Graduates

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Underemployment of College Graduates In Robert E. Sullivan, Jr.’s “Greatly Reduced Expectations”, Sullivan discusses the lack of employment available to college graduates. Throughout the essay, testimonials are given by four college graduates who expected more opportunity when they graduated with a four year degree. I sympathize with these men and women who are working in jobs that do promote their ability. Jim McKay, a graduate from the University of Washington, with a degree in English, did not expect the reality that hit him when he went searching for a job. McKay wasn’t hired for any of the jobs he considered English major related. The newspaper wouldn’t hire him, nor would his university, nor a beer company as a sales representative. With a feeling of dismay, McKay thought maybe he wasn’t trying hard enough, or maybe he had chosen the wrong major. After meeting several underemployed college grads, some more recent grads than himself, he realized “something bigger was going on.”(229) McKay, working with people who never earned a college degree, has given up hope at finding a job that utilizes what he learned while in school. “I feel angry about the whole thing,” McKay says. “I guess when you’re told your whole life that something’s gonna happened then the opposite happens, you feel cheated.” (230) I sympathize with Jim McKay, especially now that I’m in college and will be facing the same thing in a few years. It is a deep disappointment to work so hard as a young adult, sink so much money into an education and have it take you nowhere in the work place. When a person realizes that they “wasted their time and money”, I can imagine the feelings of anger, disappointment and the feeling of having been cheated. ... ... middle of paper ... ...e a hope of moving up the ladder. The reason was, “there were all these people on the bottom who were willing to keep their jobs; they didn’t want to give them up. We’re talking about people who made selling on the floor their career, which is something I never really wanted to do.” (233) I feel that it is really hard for college graduates to move up the ladder when there will always be people willing to stay at the bottom. If everyone in the job force insisted, that they work their way up, it would keep the job force moving, and give everyone somewhere to start with the possibility of moving up. The situation that college graduates are facing is serious, and needs to be addressed. I feel bad for all the people who were expecting more and never are going to get it. I just hope that when I graduate my class has a better chance at a good job within out field.
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