Get an In & Edge for College Students
There is no question that a college degree pays huge dividends in terms of lifetime earnings. In fact, a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute shows that, “College graduates, on average, earned 56 percent more than high school grads in 2015.” At the same time, it’s increasingly crucial for young people to be strategic in their pursuit of a degree. Not only do young people need a bachelor's degree, they also need experience and connections in a post-recession economy that continues to have a disproportionately negative impact on the economic prospects of young people.
Studies have shown that college grads have a difficult time landing jobs that require a college degree. Rates of underemployment hover around 50% - an abysmal figure given the expense of higher education. This isn’t the only statistic that speaks to the economic struggles of young people. Nowadays, moving back home and living with one’s parents is the most common living arrangement for young people between the ages of 18 and 34. Young people today face a very different job market than their parents. Career change is the new normal as lifetime careers become a thing of the past. On average, young people change jobs four times by 32 years old.
More than ever, young people need to own and hone their professional identity by building a compelling and strategic online identity in order to find a job that lines up with their credentials, skills, and interests. A multi-careering, gig economy means that everyone has to be able to communicate their value proposition and showcase their portfolio of professional accomplishments to potential employers and clients. Personal branding is as much about connecting as it is about creating a powerful professional identity. At a time when up to 85% of jobs are filled through networking, young people need to strategically build their network and become a trusted source of information in their professional fields.