New college grads face tough job market

Posted at 6:55 PM, May 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-12 19:00:37-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Thousands of new college graduates in the Commonwealth walked across the stage to receive their diplomas this weekend.

But according to multiple studies, nearly half of them could be walking into a job were they are underemployed.

Emily Blevins, who graduated from the University of Richmond on Sunday, escaped that reality.  The psychology major has a job in her field lined up after graduation.

"It's a daunting task. I actually found out I had a job the last day of college," said Blevins.

But her apartment of four graduating seniors at U.R. illustrates the job market facing new college grads pretty accurately.

"Half of us have jobs half of don't.  My roommate and I have jobs, but they are both only two year fellowships," said Blevins.

According to the U.S. Burea of Labor Statistics, the number unemployed grads has decreased since 2009.  However, a national survey of 2011 and 2012 college graduates, found that 41 percent of them were either underemployed or working a job that does not require a college degree.

"I think some of the students will take things to make ends meet," said Joseph Testani.

Testani, who works as the director of VCU's Career Center, said mounting student loan debt and limited opportunities in certain fields is contributing to underemployment.

Testani hopes new graduates, who might not get the ideal job right out the gate, do not lose sight of their career goals.

"I think it's really important that individuals continue to think about and network within fields of their interest, even though they might not be working presently in those fields," said Testani.