I recently appeared on FOX 25 News as a guest speaker to discuss how college graduates will play into the changing workforce and how they can better manage their job search.
This has been a recent topic of discussion since MassInc released a report stating that we may see a decrease in college degrees in the coming years and how it may affect the job market. However, even though this report initially appears to be stating that there will be less college degrees, it does not take note in the overall shift in the workforce.
What we may be seeing is actually a larger baby boomer generation leaving the workforce and being replaced by a smaller generation which may in fact lead to the "decrease" in college degrees. So even though there may appear to be fewer degrees, this finding may actually be due to a smaller generation entering the workforce.
So what does this mean for future college graduates?
This finding and possible trend may actually give future college graduates an advantage in the job market. To take advantage of changing times, my advice is to position yourself properly. Here are five things you may want to consider when managing your future career.
1. Massachusetts is a High Tech Hub
At Treeline, a company that helps job seekers find new opportunities in all industries has found that the greatest need for work talent is in the technology industry. Massachusetts has become a site of more and more technology startups. And as a result, we are overwhelmed by technology companies looking to hire, and each company we represent requires a degree from qualified candidates in order to be considered.
2. Degree Required
Almost every company we work with requires a degree. It is a standard requirement that is needed just to get your foot in the door. As you consider career paths, know that a degree is usually needed in order to enter a competitive and tech-focused work force. Having a degree also enables you to compete for those jobs that may be both professionally and financially rewarding.
3. Cost Matters
Our clients require a degree, but they do not require a degree from a specific university. If you plan to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete your degree, make sure you are guaranteed a return on investment. Recognize that the university that you attend does not define you or your future success. Your drive and personality drive your success. Choose an educational path that will equip you with the degree you need without being a financial burden
4. Location is Important
Companies care about where you live and your commute. Even with a degree, understand more opportunities will be available to you in and near the city. This is one of the most underestimated disqualifiers to a job search. The majority of opportunities are inside route 95 and Boston. If you live on Cape Cod, in the Pioneer Valley or in the Berkshires expect to be challenged by your location.
5. Future Need
There is presently a huge need for college graduates and according to this report we will see even greater need for bachelor degrees from 2020 – 2030. While a bachelor’s degree does not guarantee success, it does help level the playing field. By planning accordingly you can position yourself for future hiring needs.
Education will always play into the job search, and will actually become more critical as we become an even more technology centric economy. We will see a smaller generation entering the workforce which can appear to be a shortage of educated Massachusetts residents in the workforce. Even though this will be problematic for Massachusetts corporations, it may be opportunistic for Massachusetts employees. No matter what economical and generational shifts occur over the upcoming years, the importance of obtaining a degree should not be devalued. Know that technology paves the way for change in the job market, and you want to position yourself in an advantageous way in your search.
You can watch the FOX 25 News video here.