RE: Education (request)

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Rather than attempt another video that won't encode, I'm just going to make a text request for now. 

I have a Bachelor's degree and I will soon have a Master's degree. Graduation is in 7 days, and though I'm not walking, I should be thrilled to have reached this point in my academic career. I have fought, hard, to overcome every obstacle in order to get to where I am. My peers and myself should be excited about graduation, about completing a Master's degree, something only 11% of the US population has accomplished. But we're not excited. Instead, what we feel is an overwhelming sense of dread as we're about to enter into a job market that, frankly, doesn't want us. 

I am tired that we are told that we can do whatever we want when we grow up, and then when we pursue those passions, we're told we have a useless degree. I am tired of a government that wants all kids to go to college, and then only offers them financial support to do so in the form of more loans that we can never dream to pay off. I am tired of the fact that I have done absolutely everything that I was supposed to do-including working my ass off in classes, unpaid internships, low paying jobs, networking with some of the highest profile people within my field-and still having it not be enough. I am tired of being told that we are worthless, that we are merely defined by what we do, and that we have nothing to contribute to the world if we aren't one of those who happened to go into a science or math related field. I am tired of feeling like, as one of my colleagues put it,

"America has mortgaged my generation. I would love nothing more than to get married, buy a house and have a family. None of those things are an option now, because I can't afford to do them, even with a job. I'm hardly a lone case – many of my peers feel exactly the same." 

I am tired of being told over and over, by people within my field who are floored at the fact that I have built my own Master's program and by my experience within the field, that they would "hire me in a heartbeat...if only they had a position open."

I know this is not a problem confined to myself. 53% of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. Student loan debt is about to (or just did) surpass one trillion dollars. Many of my fellow graduates are unemployed and have no prospects on the horizon. I've heard so many people who can't get jobs because they opted to go to school, and don't have "professional work experience," but can't get professional work experience without a degree.

The reason I started this collab is because I see the numbers, I read the news articles, and I hear the stories in person, but I think someone needs to be recording these stories. I want to hear your stories. Whether you worked 3 part time jobs to get through school, or took out student loans as well as working, or opted not to go to school, or whatever you decided to do. I'm interested too in hearing from different generations because there seems to be a very wide generational gap in the perspectives on these issues.

I'll put up another formal request video, as well as my own thoughts, once I figure out why it's not encoding but I hope this will suffice for now. 

Thanks all! 

Created: May 14, 2012

Tags: education, unemployment, student loan debt, student loans, debt, college

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