Unemployment is the sad reality that several millennials are currently facing. Despite finishing a four- or five-year program at a recognized post-secondary institution, many new graduates are still finding it difficult to infiltrate the job market and land stable jobs. This begs the question: Is a bachelor's degree really enough?
While bachelor's degrees are in no way worthless, they have definitely become commonplace among the millennial generation. This has made it harder for millennial grads to stand out to employers and gain a competitive edge over their peers when seeking employment. It seems as though the unofficial promise that having a bachelor's degree (or a post-secondary education for that matter) will guarantee stable employment is no longer applicable. A masters' degree may even be the new bachelor's in this day and age.
In Canada, more than 12 per cent of Canadians aged 15 to 24 remain completely unemployed, and those who are lucky enough to be employed (25 per cent) have resorted to working internships or precarious side jobs that may not even be related to their course of study.
Many graduates end up going back to school to continue building their skill sets so that they can re-enter the job race with a competitive edge. And it may be worth it, too - A new report by The Conference Board of Canada found that candidates with additional education or specialized training were generally favoured more by Canadian companies and earned higher salaries than their peers. The average annual starting salary for new graduates ranges from $45,000 to $69,000, while those with additional education or specialized training could already see starting salaries at the higher end of that range.
“Despite these difficulties, many organizations are actively seeking highly educated millennials and are increasingly willing to pay a premium for new graduates to mine their specialized skill sets in areas such as technology and engineering,” said Allison Cowan, director of the Compensation Research Centre of the Conference Board of Canada.
The moral of the story for millennials? Keep hustling.