Growing number of recent college graduates struggle in the job market



By Luis Barajas, CONTRIBUTOR

We are reminded every day that being successful means we need to achieve a higher education past a high school diploma. Where did these societal pressures connecting higher education and being successful within our communities arise? The result of this notion is leaving students in debt after they graduate. There are many jobs within our society that require specialized tool training that cannot be learned throughout the traditional four-year program.
Enrollment in trade schools is on a rise as the traditional four-year path towards a degree is leaving many students looking for a job in their perspective field months after they graduate.
Jared Famor, a student attending Chabot College decided to divert his time and energy to a program where he will learn coding. Within 10 months, he will have a job in the field of study that he desires.
“I found more value going into a program in the field I wanted to pursue,” Famor said in an interview. “Rather than taking classes that were irrelevant at the moment, I will learn the material at a faster rate as I don’t need to think about five other classes in different fields.”
Famor sees the trade school route as an alternative path to obtaining a career.
Vocational and trade schools are offering to teach coding at a fraction of the cost of a four-year university. Since the creation of this concept, there have been many coding boot camps that offer to defer your tuition until you find a job. The degrees are often at a quarter of the price of what many students will pay for a traditional college degree obtained from a university.
As he signs up for the boot camp for his trade school, he can rest knowing that this program is at his own pace, while allowing him to defer the tuition until he graduates from the program and lands a job.
While there has been an increase in both the enrollment numbers of vocational schools and universities, trade schools are teaching within a specific niche that is landing students jobs immediately after they complete the material. Students are having to request higher and higher loans to cover the rising cost of tuition at these accredited universities.
As we move further into the information age, there are more jobs being changed into automated positions.
“We are headed to a society that is said to have 40 percent of the workforce replaced by automation through artificial intelligence,” Kai-fu Lee, the leading expert in artificial intelligence shared with “60 Minutes” back in January.
This raises the question of whether the traditional path of college is outdated, and if universities are teaching the fundamental skills that are essential for landing a job after graduation.
“There are certain in-demand skills that students may not learn in college — namely, coding,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook mentioned in an article in Business Insider.
More businesses are starting to look past the stigma that has been associated with not obtaining a four-year degree. Trade schools teach vital skills that are needed for the community to operate. As a society, why do we treat people without a college degree different than those with one?
In a nutshell, the college experience is traditionally viewed as a way that young adults transition into their adult life.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Donald Rubiano, a CSUEB alumni, who is currently working in Los Angeles where he leads many projects as a cinematographer and video editor.
“I am so grateful for the education I received during my time at Cal State East Bay. There is not a one size fits all for college,” Rubiano says. “The education is part of the journey leading to your career, however, it does not guarantee you success.”
The number of resources surrounding the industry were not so readily available when Rubiano graduated, which was just before the rise of the tech boom in the Silicon Valley.
“I highly suggest reaching out and making valuable connections. Strive to attain more experience in your profession through internships or jobs,” Rubiano says.