Some Advice for Struggling Millennial Job Seekers


After the marches by groups calling themselves “Occupy Wall Street” and “The 99 Percent” it became clear that millennials are not finding the bright start to their career that many of them felt promised. And while that took place when unemployment was reaching a high point, unfortunately the recovery in the job market has not helped this group of young people as much as you might expect.

For many recent college grads, the job they’ve found doesn’t even require their degree. A Forbes article pointed out that, “a recent study by Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies found that only one in two bachelor’s degree holders under age 25 currently works at a job requiring a college degree.” While they’ve found a way to pay rent, they’re not able to build the resume and skills set they’ll need to advance further.


In addition, many of the jobs that require a degree now may not have required one in the past. According to an article in the Washington Post, “More and more employers are requiring bachelor’s degrees for positions that years ago wouldn’t have needed them, shutting off access for the unmatriculated.” The reason for this is to have some way of filtering the flood of applications that arrive for each job opening. 

For example, 42% of the current Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers have a BA, but 68% of the openings for this position now require one. This means that while it’s less likely that the skills from a BA are essential for performing a job, the sheer competitiveness of the job market makes it more important to have one.


The numbers of new jobs available for millennials doesn’t look good either. In a recent press release by Career Builder they noted the huge disparity in job growth for different ages: “The number of jobs held by baby boomers (age 55-64) grew 9 percent from 2007 to 2013, a gain of 1.9 million. The millennial workforce (age 22-34), however, has not recovered from the recession nearly as fast. With an increase of only 110,000 jobs, employment in 2013 was essentially unchanged from 2007 (.3 percent growth).” As job growth continues, hopefully the millennials will see some respite from this absence of opportunities.

Many young people are likely wondering how they should care for their career path in the current environment. A recent interview with Michael Duke, who retired as CEO of Walmart earlier this year, offers some helpful advice for pursuing a career path.  One thing he recommends for young people is to not worry about the next step but focus on the job they have now. We also have a section of our website called Invest in Your Career that’s dedicated to helping people to know what they should be doing to build a solid path ahead.

And to those still gaining an education, we’d echo the ago old advice: stay in school!