Reviews | Entry-level jobs no longer exist

If you’re frantically scouring LinkedIn, Handshake, or Indeed for jobs and internships like me, you’ve probably noticed that the standard for entry-level positions has increased exponentially. The idea of ​​entry-level jobs is practically disappear before our eyes.

For many students and recent graduates, finding a post-graduate job seems nearly impossible. Since 2017, 35% entry-level jobs posted on LinkedIn required years of relevant work experience. To meet this experience requirement, not only must we start working continuously from our second or first year of college until we graduate, but the jobs we accept must also be relevant to our future career field.

College is a place where we begin to understand who we are and what we want to do in life. For many students, the major they enter college with isn’t always the same as the one listed on their degree — and that’s perfectly fine. Around 50-75% of all undergraduates change majors at least once.

No one should expect the rest of their life to be planned between the ages of 18 and 22. But the workforce seems to think otherwise. We are eager to start working early in our college careers in order to gain that much-appreciated professional experience without ever questioning whether this is what we really want to do.

For many students, internships are how they enter a certain career field. But many people can’t afford to take 10 to 13 weeks of unpaid or low-paid work – especially when economists predict we could be entering a recession soon. The economic The situation in our country has slowly declined over the past year, making it more difficult to cover expenses. More … than 40% of interns are not paid throughout their internship, but most students pay for their education and bills, making an unpaid internship a privilege many don’t have. This, in turn, ends up hurting their future chances when it comes time to look for a job.

Not everyone can manage a job while in college that is tied to what they want to do in the future, especially if that job pays little or nothing. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding a way to pay tuition, bills, or groceries. Many Pitt students take some sort of on-campus job or work in the restaurant industry because it provides them with an income for the time being.

In addition to writing for The Pitt News, I myself also work at the Center for Teaching and Learning at Alumni Hall. It has nothing to do with my future career, but it’s how I afford to pay my bills and my groceries. It should be the skills you get from the job rather than where you worked that matter most.

Almost 70% of all college students work while enrolled in school. The focus on prior relevant experience almost seems to ignore the hard work of student workers who worked to pay for college.

On-campus jobs or internships aren’t the only way a student can learn valuable skills. Participation in extracurricular activities, such as clubs or team sports, is also a learning moment in a student’s college career. It gives students the chance to hold leadership positions, work in teams, and develop networking and time management skills. These are also all transferable skills that are extremely beneficial once in the job market. My involvement with The Pitt News has definitely made me a better writer, but on top of that, I’ve also learned how to work and communicate with others in the office, whether as an editor or opinion writer. I also learned leadership skills through my club – the Fashion Business Association – by holding positions on the board of directors. Learning to delegate tasks among members and take initiative is a skill that carries over to almost any career.

Extracurricular activities might be the closest thing to “prior relevant experience,” given that not everyone has the ability to take on an unpaid or low-paid internship. But that shouldn’t hold them back if they have acquired skills in other areas, especially since current juniors, seniors, and recent graduates have completed an internship. Opportunities were taken away from them due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re all doing our best to come out of a global pandemic, and employers don’t seem to understand that. Regardless of intimidating and heightened work requirements, don’t let them deter you from applying. Even if you don’t feel qualified, apply anyway. There’s a reason the job posting is still online.

Kelly Xiong primarily writes about personal health and wellness. Write to him at [email protected].

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