New study finds majority of college grads wish they had been more prepared for today’s job market

Seventy-one percent of recent college graduates wish they had done something differently in college to prepare for the job market, according to research by Adecco Staffing US, part of the world’s largest staffing firm.

The Adecco survey was designed with the interest of understanding how the economy has effected new graduates seeking a career. The findings are based off interviews with 503 college graduates in the age range between 22 and 26  who are considered to be a part of “Generation R(ecession)” — those who graduated between 2006-10.

When recent grads were surveyed about their college education, Adecco found the following:

  • 26 percent wished they had started their job earlier,
  • 29 percent wished they had spent more time networking, and/or
  • 26 percent  wished they had applied to more jobs before graduation.
  • 33 percent currently live with their parents, and 17 percent of that number are financially dependent on their parents.

The negative perception of their college experience is likely to be due in part to where they found themselves employed after college. It wasn’t that these recent graduates were without work, many had full-time jobs, but 43% of the graduates are working a job that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree.

“Regardless of how the economy is fairing, graduates who proactively pound the pavement well before they finish their studies are more successful in landing a full-time job after graduation,” said Joyce Russell, EVP and president of Adecco Staffing US.

Recent graduates have reason to worry about where their career path is headed in a bad economy, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t any options. These statistics show recent grads wish they had taken advantage of what their schools had to offer before it was too late. College students spend most of their time on a campus that is rich with resources that too often go untapped.

If you are a student or know a student who wants to get more involved in a career search before graduating, consider the following options:

  • Students can earn invaluable real-world experience through apprenticeships, internships, and volunteer jobs.
  • Students can visit the career center at their school or take a course to help them design a professional portfolio for landing a job.
  • Students can start networking at job fairs held on their campus.

For students getting ready to enter college, check out LifeBound’s MAJORING IN THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Students will learn the importance of planning, financing, living independently, interning, landing the job, and more all before heading out into the workforce.

Resources: Adecco College Graduate Survey -

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