Myth #1

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Myth #1: A college degree alone will land you a great job

Reality: Companies now look for 1-3 years of experience in entry-level candidates

You work hard in elementary school and junior high to prepare yourself for high school, and then you spend four years of high school working hard to get into college. That college then prepares you for the real world, awarding you with a college degree that, in turn, awards you with a great job… Supposedly.

It’s the common narrative we’re fed from a young age, from our parents, from our teachers, and from society. It’s also the common narrative that leaves 41% of college graduates in positions that didn’t even require a college degree to begin with.

We live in a society that often frames higher education to be the one-and-only answer to landing a great job, but that’s simply just not true. In fact, the unemployment rate for young college graduates is greater than that of the general population. So what’s the issue?

In today’s blog post, we’re going to expose the myth that a college degree alone will guarantee you a great job and dissect the reasons behind why companies now require at least 1-3 years of experience in entry-level candidates.

A typical junior-level resume includes a section for education, work experience, and skills. And, while important, the section displaying your college institution and GPA is often the shortest portion of the resume. This is true whether you went to a junior college, a state school, or an Ivy.

And from an organization or recruiter’s point of view, while impressive, getting a degree from a good school or having a high GPA doesn’t necessarily translate into having the necessary workplace skills. There’s already a significant amount of risk involved in giving a candidate with very little experience a shot, but hiring a candidate with no experience is a shot in the dark.

Now, let’s consider the costs involved for an entry-level hire. If the base salary for the position is $50,000 a year, when just factoring in the basics like taxes and benefits, the employer’s costs actually total $62,500 to $70,000 per year. This number doesn’t include extra benefits, such as gym memberships, or costs for the actual hire, which can range from $4,000 to $8,000, nor does it include costs involved for onboarding or training.

With that price tag, there’s no argument that an entry-level hire is a hefty investment. And we didn’t even consider the cost of replacing a particularly bad employee, which, for an entry-level hire, costs half of their annual salary!

By requiring 1-3 years of experience for entry-level jobs, companies are able to filter for candidates who have proven experience in the workplace, thus ensuring they get the best for their investment. This is why internships are crucial stepping stones for landing jobs these days.

So how can you land internships that'll help you build skills and stand out as a competitive applicant? PathMatch can help.

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