HOLY HELL: (Under)employment After Graduation

I cannot believe it’s already been a month since I finished up my first year of COLLEGE.
In all realness, I used to be an education snob which is funny because I graduated from York University. Ha!
“If you can hold a fork you can go to York!” Indeedios. Anyhow, to commemorate my first year of completing college here’s my final piece I wrote for the EtCetera.
I was given the opportunity to write a feature for the paper and it included my picture along with the story. Of course my mother being my mother  didn’t congratulate me on getting asked to write a feature. Like a very Asian parent she instead looked over my article after it was printed and said, “Jeanette, you look awful in this photograph.” HAHAHA. That’s my mom!
It’s just like the time my brother brought home a 100% on his high school report card and she sternly looked at him and said, “only 100% !? What happened to all of your bonus grades?” Oh, we still laugh about that one.
Anyway, this was an eye opening piece to write on jobs after graduation. I’m a year off from being completely done, or at least for the next little bit any how, and I’ve been freaking out since… forever. Anyone who knows me can attest to that. HAHAHA.
After interviewing the experts I felt slightly more assured. But like always, must continue plowing through…
To graduates and fellow students or anybody really looking to find employment… just keep plowing. Something will show for your hard work! Good luck :)


Originally published in the EtCetera.
The photo was taken outside of Queen’s Park during the student protest to drop fees! Good times, good times.


Entry jobs outside our field – but hope remains

Jeanette Liu
News Reporter


Many students are spending thousands on education to work low-paying and entry-level jobs unrelated to their field of study after graduation, said a recent report by the Toronto Region Research Alliance.

“I graduated from Ryerson with a degree in criminal justice,” said Starbucks barista, Assumpta Selvadasan, 23. “Right now I’m staving time off by serving drinks. I’m trying to get myself a job related to my degree but it’s proving to be really difficult— even with all of my certification. Though I enjoy it, pouring coffee is not exactly what I had in mind as my career after graduating from school.”

Because of less relevant job opportunities opening up, graduates like Selvadasan are finding it difficult to get work related to their university training.

In Toronto, the TRRA report Research and Innovation Jobs said students graduating with degrees in science or business may have the most difficulty finding jobs.

In 2012, almost 11,000 students will graduate in Toronto with a degree in science but only 3,000 new jobs will be available for the taking, according to the study.

Meanwhile, in the business sector, 16,000 students will graduate with a commerce degree but only 6,531 business placements will open up.

Graduates from educational institutions like teachers college are also having a difficult time finding work.

But Pierre-Pascal Gendron, program coordinator of Humber’s International Business degree program said students graduating with a degree actually have a good chance of getting a relevant job.

“I think [the report] is just to shock people into thinking about the job market,” Gendron said. “The history of degree education in Ontario does not bear this thought at all. The placement rate of degree students tends to be quite good… There are more doors open, yes at entry level, but students have an equal chance of establishing themselves.

“In a tough economy perhaps it’s tougher to get those jobs and the conditions may not be as good, but many of those jobs do exist which is very critical for students to know,” Gendron said.

Hilary Predy, associate vice-president of business solutions at the Adecco employment agency, echoed Gendron’s optimism.

Adecco is Canada’s largest employment recruitment centre providing staffing services for both employers and job seekers.

Predy said that while job openings available to students have decreased in 2012, employment opportunities are still there.

“In Ontario things are softer than we expected in growth for jobs for 2012 from 2011,” she said.

“But, it’s still buoyant and there are still jobs out there for people.”

She said college certificates and degrees alike are important when looking for jobs and she favours of a dual-paper system for students. To be more competitive in the job market Predy said students should consider obtaining both a degree and certificate.

“We are seeing more people now finishing an undergraduate degree and then picking up a two year course at the community college level that rounds out their education,” said Predy. “There’s a need for both. The college hands-on experience is good but it doesn’t give students the depth that a university degree does. But, the university degree doesn’t give students the hands-on skills that a certificate does.”

She also said that students should not feel discouraged while searching in the employment market because jobs are available.

“We have to look at education not as a means to an end but rather as a stepping stone to a new learning opportunity,” Predy said. While degrees and diplomas are important, other assets like work experience are typically necessary for high-level jobs. This means students need to get their papers first and then work their way up the employment ladder.

Gendron said that’s all part of the process.

“It’s difficult but students have to know and prepare themselves for refusal and lack of interest,” he said. “And that’s a normal part of the business. The job search continues until you meet a match and an employer is looking for what a student has to offer.”

Gendron said students need to be less picky when entering the job market.

“It’s very important to apply to as many positions as possible,” he said. “Students should not try to pick certain areas, sectors or organizations. They should just apply widely.”


About Jeanette

Bride-to-be and former TV gal turned entrepreneuress who loves chic street style, tea time and all things piaoliang ("pretty" in Chinese)

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