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Life After College: What’s Next After You Earn Your Degree?

Video by Roland Lizarondo

Nearly 2 million people are projected to earn their bachelor's degrees during the 2018–19 school year, based on National Center for Education Statistics. What can these students expect regarding the job market, paying off school debt and what it will take to land their dream job?

KPBS anchor Ebone Monet spoke to James Tarbox, the executive director of Career Services at San Diego State University.

Q: What it will take for new graduates to be successful in the world?

A: That's an excellent question. I think one of the biggest misconceptions that students have, especially in an age where everything is available through an app or online, is that the online job boards are probably the best place to go to apply for positions. And although that can have the truth, what they need to know is, of those 2 million graduates, approximately 14,000 are applying for every position online. So you've got to really learn to separate yourself. So we're going to kind of go back to basics and what we're going to do is we're going to really encourage them to understand what do they want from their career and how they're going to communicate that to an employer and building a pipeline where they can do that with an employer.

Q: Do you know how many students here at San Diego State University have already lined up jobs?

A: We do. We do a graduation survey. We've been doing these for about 12 years now. And so this year's class, about 40 percent are telling us that they're employed at graduation. However, and this is really important and that's why I started off with the advice on the online job boards, we are seeing a much higher number in terms of those who are actively seeking. That could be for two reasons: One is they could just be starting their job search now or two they haven't qualified in terms of the requirements that employers have.

Q: How is the job market for a recent graduate?

A: It looks really good and it looks really competitive… for every job that's open right now because, we have all these job boards, employers are seeing upwards of 10,000 applicants per position.

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