Underemployment of College Graduates
In Robert E. Sullivan, Jr.’s “Greatly Reduced Expectations”, Sullivan discusses the lack of employment available to college graduates. Throughout the essay, testimonials are given by four college graduates who expected more opportunity when they graduated with a four year degree. I sympathize with these men and women who are working in jobs that do promote their ability.
Jim McKay, a graduate from the University of Washington, with a degree in English, did not expect the reality that hit him when he went searching for a job. McKay wasn’t hired for any of the jobs he considered English major related. The newspaper wouldn’t hire him, nor would his university, nor a beer company as a sales representative. With a feeling of dismay, McKay thought maybe he wasn’t trying hard enough, or maybe he had chosen the wrong major. After meeting several underemployed college grads, some more recent grads than himself, he realized “something bigger was going on.”(229) McKay, working with people who never earned a college degree, has given up hope at finding a job that utilizes what he learned while in school. “I feel angry about the whole thing,” McKay says. “I guess when you’re told your whole life that something’s gonna happened then the opposite happens, you feel cheated.” (230) I sympathize with Jim McKay, especially now that I’m in college and will be facing the same thing in a few years. It is a deep disappointment to work so hard as a young adult, sink so much money into an education and have it take you nowhere in the work place. When a person realizes that they “wasted their time and money”, I can imagine the feelings of anger, disappointment and the feeling of having been cheated.
Brian McCoy, a major in chemical-engineering, and with a graduation date of this spring, is already preparing himself for the strong possibility of not finding a job within his field. As he nears graduation, McCoy is taking all the interviews he can, just hoping to land something, and realizes that he may have to settle for a position in sales. “They say they have enough engineers, and I guess they figure it’s easier to teach a technical person how to sell than to teach a salesperson to be technical.” (230) I can understand Brian McCoy’s concern over his future. As graduation get’s closer, he realizes that his future might not be as secure as he first thought it was going to be. I find it upsetting, that a student fresh out of college, has to be hit with the huge disappointment of not being able to find a decent job within their...