Finance and Business
Browser Extensions That Save You Money
Playoff Perks For Pro Athletes
6 Financial Benefits Of Spring Cleaning
How The 2014 Obama Budget Could Affect Your Finances
How To Profit From Risk
What Buffett Would Say To The 50K’ers
How Spring Cleaning Can Make You Money
The Most Expensive Sports Trophies
How To Buy Annuities (And When Not To)
The Economics Of Stay-At-Home Moms
6 Tips For Selling Your Home Fast
6 Things You Think Add Value To Your Home - But Really Don't
Making It Big On Wall Street
Predict Inflation With The Producer Price Index
10 Great Summer Jobs For Teens
The Cold, Hard Facts Behind Funding Your Retirement
The Role Of Parents In Financial Education
Broker Commissions Are Here To Stay
Money Tips To Stretch Your Retirement Nest Egg
4 Traits Banks Look For In New Staff
Earnings Guidance: Can It Accurately Predict The Future?
Is Real Estate Ever A Wise Investment For Retirees?
Get A Bank Job In 50 Days
The Diner's Guide To Tipping
The Importance Of Work Experience For Students
At first glance, unemployment statistics in the United States suggest that the country is beginning to experience a period of sustained economic growth. From a starting point of 7.9% in January of this year, the national rate of unemployment tumbled to 7.6% in June as a growing number of firms continued to hire steadily and without interruption. Even as unemployment benefit applications rose by 16,000 during the first week of June, this was consistent with the level of tentative growth that has continued through the second financial quarter.

Beyond the statistics, however, there are various reasons for the nation's politicians to be concerned. Not only is the current labor market recovery the weakest since World War II, but there remain several demographics that are unable to find work or achieve their desired career success. To put this into context, approximately 55% of the 175,000 jobs added to the U.S. economy during May were either low-paid or temporary assignments, while youth unemployment continues to soar and has now reached a staggering 16.2% across the U.S.

Chronic Student Underemployment
It is the current generation of graduates that is suffering the most considerable hardship, however, as minimal employment opportunities and spiraling debt continue to undermine future prospects. According to a recent online survey, more than 40% of U.S. college graduates are either underemployed or working in jobs that do not even require a college degree. Subsequently, cumulative student debt in the U.S. has soared beyond the $1 trillion mark, which in turn has created a demographic that is unable to repay the cost of their education or contribute toward the growth of a nation's economy.

So is this simply the result of a failing labor market, or are there steps that students and graduates can take to improve their suitability as candidates for work in 2013? Increasingly, recruiters are looking for candidates to display practical workplace skills and experience that can be applied directly to a specific industry or market niche. While this cannot be acquired at the expense of a required academic qualification or degree certification, the prevailing employer mindset does provide an opportunity for students to enhance their appeal in a competitive market. Consider the following steps toward gaining relevant and actionable experience:

Travel and Work Abroad During the Summer Months
As an aspiring graduate, you must never loose sight of your academic goals and what is required to achieve them. This is why sourcing work experience can be difficult when studying, especially for those pursuing qualifications in challenging subjects such as business and finance. That said, the summer months and the year immediately following graduation provide students with the ideal opportunity to seek out viable workplace experience, as they can focus on developing practical skills without having to carefully manage their time.

Depending on your long-term career goals, it may be worth spending some time abroad to acquire experience of the global job market, as this will afford you a unique edge over the majority of your contemporaries while also allowing you to develop maturity and a greater sense of cultural awareness. When you consider the increasingly flexible and global nature of the workplace, these attributes are likely to be in considerable demand during the next decade.

Volunteering and Vocational Work
While many experts have bemoaned the state of the labor market and the concept of underemployment, others would claim that this only facilitates the culture of entitlement that exists in developed economies. The truth remains that if graduates are driven to succeed in their long-term career goals, they should be willing to accept menial, vocational and volunteer opportunities that provide them with the necessary workplace skills and experience.

In fact, these types of job are extremely beneficial for students as, although they may be financially and intellectually unrewarding, they provide the ideal stepping stone for graduate jobs and future career moves. Experiences gained in the nonprofit sector or an entry level role that is related to your career of choice can significantly boost your appeal in the eyes of employers, primarily because they build your strength of character and reveal an innate desire to work.

Consider Offering a Service or Establishing an Independent Venture
If you aspire to secure a prosperous career upon graduation, it is absolutely imperative that you recognize the changing face of the workplace and labor force. This is especially true if you aspire to work in management or develop professional leadership skills, as there is a need to understand the contemporary employee mindset and most popular methods of working. With Intuit predicting that freelancers and self-employed workers could contribute toward 40% of the labor market by 2020, managing a team of staff will require a diverse and unusual range of practical skills.

In order to acquire these skills, you may consider establishing a part-time venture that delivers a service to fellow students or a wider consumer base. If established during the summer, this will enable you to gain first-hand experience of managing a professional project and selling a marketable service, without compromising on your academic studies. With the opportunity to also employ staff and learn the fundamental basics of workplace leadership, your independent venture could make a considerable difference in the eyes of demanding employees.

The Bottom Line
While labor market growth remains tentative and has been undermined by the creation of low paid, temporary work, the issues facing unemployed graduates stretch far beyond an ailing economy. A failure to appreciate the importance of workplace experience and its benefits is a significant cause for concern, while some graduates may also be carrying a sense of entitlement that is preventing them from being proactive in their search for work. With vision, desire and a long-term career plan, however, it is possible to gain valuable workplace experience and succeed even as the job market falters.

pharmacy rx world canada

How Much Should You Have In Your 401(k) To Retire?
Consequences Of Maxing Out Your Credit Card
Use Caution Trading Pink Sheet Stocks
New Tax Rules Target The Top Tax Bracket
Top 4 Most Competitive Financial Careers
The Best Entry-Level Finance Jobs For 2013
5 Ways To Increase Your Chances Of Getting A Job After College
Is Higher Education Still A Good Investment?
Why You Shouldn't Worry Too Much About New Student Loan Rates
How To Make $1 Million In Finance
Why Clients Fire Financial Advisors
Share 0 Disqus 6 Tough Questions To Ask Before Retirement
Retail Banking Vs. Corporate Banking
How To Be A Top Financial Advisor
The Basics Of A 401(k) Retirement Plan
How To Write An Effective Investment Banking Resume
The Benefits Of An Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Degree
How Long Will You Work When You Should Be Retired?
The Importance Of Work Experience For Students
8 Clear-Cut Ways To Becoming A Better Saver
The Pros And Cons Of Pension Maximization
Top Business And Finance Degrees For 2013
Will 2014 Mark The Return Of The CD?
How Summer Businesses Survive
Social Finance Careers: Creating A Better World
How To Match Your Savings Goal With Investments
Investment Tax Basics For All Investors
Should You Borrow Money To Make Investments?
5 Secrets Credit Card Companies Don’t Want You To Know
What Determines Your Cost Basis?
Should You Buy An Annuity?
When To Buy A Mutual Fund
How Financial Advisors Are Leveraging Social Media
Maintaining Work/Life Balance For Financial Professionals
5 Financial Gifts Dad Really Wants
The Father's Day Index 2013: Dad’s Value Is Up!
Networking For Financial Professionals: Maintaining A Strong Industry Presence
4 Reasons Why Your Credit Card Company Thinks Your Card Is Stolen
Can Financial Education Rebuild America’s Economy?
4 Ways To Take Your Career To The Next Level
The Hidden Fees In 401(k)s
Is It Foolish To Strive For The American Dream?
5 Easy Fixes For A High Summer Electric Bill
Commuters' University: On-The-Road Learning
What Is The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) And How Does It Work?
Summer Money-Making Opportunities For Finance Students
Unexpected Challenges For Self-Employed Finance Professionals
3 Financial Tasks We Think Are Harder Than They Really Are
How To Survive When Prices Double Every Day And A Half
5 Budget Tips For Your European Backpacking Trip
The Financial Fallout Of The DOMA Repeal For Same-Sex Couples
5 Overused Resume Phrases