Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
The state of the job market is bleak, or at least some college students think so.
The glare that was fixed on job creation during the presidential debates left college students across the country worried about post-diploma life.
During the Oct. 16 presidential debate, a worried college student asked the candidates what they could say to ensure he will be able to support himself after graduation.
Both candidates gave answers about how they plan to increase jobs and give college students the opportunity to support themselves after graduation.
President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney agreed the most important thing they need to do is to have jobs for college graduates after they receive their diplomas. Both candidates also noted these jobs need to be good, “college-leveled” jobs.
During the debate Obama said he wants to continue to build on the 5 million jobs that have been created in the last 30 months. According to data from the White House, American businesses have added 5.2 million jobs within the last 31 months, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 151,000 U.S. jobs have been added each month since January of this year, which is similar to number from 2011.
Romney is well-known for his experience in business and for his time at Bain Capital, a private investment firm, where he was worked from 1984 to 1999.
During his time at Bain, the Romney campaign said he contributed to adding 100,000 jobs.
Some students at Ohio State have expressed concerns on where and how they will get jobs after leaving the university.
Sarah Taylor, a third-year in English, said even though she still has one year of school left, she is looking for a job and is worried she won’t find one in her field.
“There is a worry because I am an English major and I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Taylor said. “I’m worried I won’t be able to find something that I like to do and has an aspect of English in it.”
Amie Draper, a fourth-year in biomedical science, plans to attend graduate school after graduating in the spring, but she still has concerns about landing a job after she completes her graduate degree.
Draper said she is also concerned about finding a job where she can use the degree she spent so many years earning.
“I’m definitely concerned with finding a job post-graduate school, especially with the economy,” Draper said. “More specially, getting a job in an area (where) I actually want to live.”
Draper said it’s better to have any job rather than no job, but she would love to have one she feels qualified for.
“I think a main concern, right now, is mainly the economy and lack of jobs,” Draper said. “I think things like finding jobs and paying back students loans can be solved by improving that economy and making sure there are jobs that people can apply to.”
While some students said they are worried about finding a job or getting accepted into graduate school, others are looking at different options.
Alina Kordesch, a fourth-year in Japanese and linguistics, said she has decided to continue her education, but plans to do so overseas in Japan.
Although she won’t be looking for a job after graduation, she believes the cost of tuition and the availability of student loans will make it easier for students after graduation.
“I think the government should either be working on giving more scholarships or reducing tuition so students can leave school without being crushed under the weight of student debts,” Kordesch said.
One way students receive funding for education is through government sponsored Pell Grants, which according to data from the White House, help more than 8 million American students afford college expenses every year.
According to the White House, roughly two-thirds of college students take out loans to afford school with an average debt of $23,000. Virginia Layton, university director and bursar of OSU’s Office of Financial Services, said about 40 percent of students depend on student loans to help cover the costs of their OSU education. Ohio students overall had the seventh highest average debt in the U.S. at more than $28,600, according to findings from the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit higher education research group.
The unemployment rate in the U.S. was at about 7.8 percent in September, a .3 percent decline from the 8.1 to 8.3 range maintained throughout the previous eight months of 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The total number of unemployed people in the U.S. is 12.1 million. However, the underemployment rate was higher at 16.5 percent in September, according to a Gallup poll.
Romney leads Obama with 48 percent to 47 percent in registered voters, and with 51 percent to 46 percent in likely voters according to a Tuesday seven-day Gallup poll.