Why Undergraduates Are Not Getting Hired

Today, unemployment among undergraduates is one of the major challenges to young people because they are uncertain in their future after graduation from colleges and Universities. As the matter of fact, when they graduate they cannot find employment that makes them dependent on their family support as well as support of state agencies. In such a situation, undergraduates cannot be certain in their future and successful professional development. Moreover, the unemployment of undergraduates decreases the value of diplomas because they are useless, if undergraduates cannot find a job and get good career opportunities.

In actuality, many undergraduates are unemployed and the problem of their future career after the graduation from colleges and Universities is an unbearable burden for many undergraduates. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that the unemployment rate among undergraduates is higher than average (See App. Table 1). The unemployment rate for American workers from the age of 16 to 24 had risen to 19.6% (Nellis, & Parker, 119). Moreover, specialists argue that of recent college students between the ages of 20 and 24, roughly 10.6% are unemployed (Newman, 3). In such a situation, the position of undergraduates becomes really desperate that makes the study of reasons and causes of their unemployment particularly important. In fact, the study should find out why undergraduates are not getting employed, what risk factors and problems they face that prevent them from finding a job and, on the ground of findings of the study, it will be possible to work out recommendations concerning possible improvements that can decrease the unemployment rate among undergraduates.

Research Methods

The study of the unemployment among undergraduates should involve both undergraduates and employers. In this respect, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the involvement of both parties will help to reveal the essence of the problem and to uncover reasons why undergraduates have low job opportunities and why they fail to find a prospective job. In terms of the current study, employers and undergraduates were selected randomly. The study involves five employers and ten undergraduate students, who have different experience of employment as well as unemployment. Employers involved in the study operate in different industries and represent medium size businesses. The study was conducted anonymously to increase the reliability of responses of subjects involved in the study. Undergraduates involved in the study had different gender, race, and specialization. In such a way, the scope of the study was extended to avoid possible errors provoked by specificities of employment in certain industries. The point of the study was to get the general trend in the undergraduates’ employment and to understand why undergraduates suffer from unemployment and what difficulties they have, while searching a job and what actually prevents them from obtaining a job they are looking for.

The study involved the use of two methods: interviews and focus groups. In fact, interviews were conducted to reveal the personal opinion of employers and undergraduates in regard to revelation possible reasons for the undergraduates’ unemployment (See App. Interviews). At the same time, interviews allowed view problems from two standpoints, that of employers and that of undergraduates. Interviews help to reveal the actual situation in the labor market in relation to employees.

In addition, focus groups method was used. The focus groups involved employers and undergraduates. There were three groups: a group of employers, a group of undergraduates, and a group of both employers and undergraduates. Each group discussed one and the same issue – the unemployment among undergraduates, its reasons and ways of prevention. The first group of employers was created to find out the position of employers and to understand what criteria employers have in relation to undergraduates. In such a way, it was possible to find out which criteria undergraduates should match to find a job. The second group of undergraduates was created to find out major problems undergraduates face in the course of employment and their expectations in regard to their future or current jobs. Finally, the third group was created to negotiate ideal conditions of employment for both employers and graduates. In addition, the third group comprised of employers and graduates helped to reveal major reasons for undergraduates’ unemployment and indicated the ways to the solution of this problem.


In actuality, the study of the unemployment among undergraduates has revealed the fact that the problem persists and, what is more, the problem aggravates. Today, the unemployment rate among undergraduates has grown consistently. Moreover, today, the unemployment rate among undergraduates exceeds the average unemployment rate nationwide. In fact, the undergraduates’ unemployment undermines the value of diplomas and puts under a threat the future professional development of undergraduates because, if they fail to find a job, they will decrease their professional skills and abilities being unemployed.

In such a context, the current study has helped to reveal several key facts about the undergraduates’ unemployment, including major reasons for their unemployment and factors that prevent undergraduates from a successful employment. In this regard, the inability of undergraduates to write resumes is one of the major reasons for their unemployment. In actuality, resumes are essential for job application and, if undergraduates fail to apply their resumes, they are deprived of an opportunity to apply for a job. In addition, if undergraduates write their resumes wrong, employers naturally exclude them from the list of potential applicants because they are not willing to employ professionals who cannot even write a resume.

Another problem undergraduates face in the course of their employment is the inability to perform interviews. In fact, undergraduates have little, if any, experience of conducting interviews. As a result, they grow nervous in the course of interviews that naturally discourages employers to employ them because employers normally need self-assured employees, who can conduct interviews easily and successfully. If employers see the uncertainty of undergraduates in the course of interviews, they naturally refuse them from employment. In such a way, undergraduates often come to interviews unprepared and fail to get employment because interviews comprise an important part of the employment process.

Furthermore, many undergraduates are just unaware where to find job. What is meant here is the fact that undergraduates have no idea where to look for a job and how to find a job. They do not have effective methods and strategies of searching for a job. As a result, they cannot apply their skills and abilities because they do not know where to find a job. In such a context, the growth of undergraduates’ awareness of basic methods and strategies of finding a job is one of the essential conditions of the successful employment of undergraduates.

At the same time, the study has revealed the problem of unwillingness of employers to hire inexperienced employees. In fact, many employers are unwilling to employ undergraduates because they do not have extensive experience of work and, what is more, they need training to start working effectively. Therefore, employers need to spend time and money on training of undergraduates to make them efficient employees. In such a situation, it is easier for employers to employ an experienced professional instead of an undergraduate.

Furthermore, the low qualification of undergraduates because of the lack of experience of undergraduates is another reason for their failure to get employed. As the matter of fact, employers need well-qualified employees, whereas the relatively low qualification of undergraduates leaves them little room for a successful employment. To put it more precisely, undergraduates often need to focus on low- or semi-qualified jobs. This means that undergraduates can count for low wages paid for low- and semi-qualified jobs. As a result, they turn out to be in a disadvantageous position in the labor market.


Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the problem of the unemployment among undergraduates persists because of the number of reasons. At the same time, the problems identified in the course of the current study helps to elaborate effective methods of prevention of the undergraduates’ unemployment and solution of this problem.

First of all, it is necessary to focus on the undergraduates-employers communication. In fact, the undergraduates-employers communication should start in the course of learning to allow employers to track gifted students and to allow undergraduates to get more information about potential employers and acquire experience of searching for a job. In such a way, employers will be able to develop positive relationships with undergraduates, to learn their skills and abilities and to employ them, if undergraduates meet their requirements and have proved to be successful employees.

Furthermore, a close cooperation between colleges and Universities and employers may help to provide undergraduates with better job opportunities. What is meant here is the fact that colleges and Universities should enhance relationships with employers because educators can help employers to match their needs in regard to employers’ requirements to employees. In such a way, undergraduates will come prepared to requirements and needs of employers.

Finally, the state support to stimulate undergraduate employment, including tax credits, grants for undergraduates, etc. may be very helpful. In such a way, employers will be encouraged to employ undergraduates.

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