By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
Spring semester is going by in the blink of an eye (how are we halfway through February already?) and BU is racking up the events for senior semester, like a trip to Foxwoods Resort Casino this past weekend, and an upcoming on-campus Matt and Kim concert, as well as parties counting down to graduation.
It’s all fun and games until someone asks the dreaded question feared most by seniors: “So, do you have any plans for after graduation?”
This week The New York Times tackled the issue of how, in a suffering economy where jobs are few and far between, many recent college graduates are feeling trapped in an endless cycle of internships that neither pay nor lead to permanent jobs.
For college students, landing an internship is a great way to boost your resume and gain real-world experience outside of the classroom. But many graduates, especially those aspiring to break into the fashion, film, or publishing industries, are finding themselves at a point where it is becoming increasingly difficult to break free from the cycle of unpaid work.
According to The Times article, post-graduate internship opportunities are far more abundant than job openings these days, making them easy bait for those fresh out of college. But some question whether it’s worth taking the time to work as interns, thereby delaying real employment, and if there’s even a light at the end of the tunnel.
The overall job economy is a major part of the reasons why most companies cannot afford to hire their interns. The overall unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, though it has decreased to 6.6 percent as of Jan. 2014.
And of course, the unemployment rates vary depending on what your major is. Those studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are probably better off than those studying liberal arts. A 2013 study conducted by Georgetown University shows that there have been lower unemployment rates for recent graduates in education (5 percent), engineering (7 percent) and the health sciences (4.8 percent), all areas that are “tied to stable or growing industry sectors and occupations.”
The future seems bleak for students. While it never hurts to build your resume and gain experience and add to a growing network, for some there may come a time when you’ll have to give up your dreams to work in a job outside your intended field.
Party hard while you still can, seniors. But don’t let your last hurrah distract you from the “real world” you’ll be entering in a few months.