Tag Archives: survey

Poll Says Degrees Still Valuable, but Readers Share Frustrations

In our July monthly poll, we asked readers if they thought that this year, with high unemployment rates and a highly competitive job market, higher education is still worth the cost.

The results were mixed, but 50.3% of readers said that yes, they did think higher education is still valuable in this economy. At the same time, 32.9% of readers said that they did not think higher education is worth the cost, and 16.8% responded that they were not sure.

Comments on the poll illustrated that mixed feelings run deep when it comes to the value of higher education, especially in this economy. Some shared frustration, bitterness, and even anger about attaining college and advanced degrees but still struggling in a difficult job market.

Others offered insight into the value of work experience. One shared, “I just wouldn't recommend going from undergraduate to graduate school without any real work experience. It will be even harder in my opinion when you graduate.”

Another said, “A degree doesn't provide anyone with a guarantee. It does tend to open more doors than those who don't have a degree, but that is about it.”

So, as the summer wraps up and universities prep to welcome a new wave of students, will you be joining them? If so, are you planning to work to gain experience while you go to school? Are you looking for a different way to learn about your industry? Share your higher education plans for this upcoming semester in our comments section.

This Year, Is Higher Education Worth the Cost?

Summer may be at its peak, but just around the corner, another school year waits. Not just for children to return to class from summer vacation, but for a growing number of people in America, from the unemployed to those with newly minted degrees. 

This year, a rising number of unemployed Americans are returning to school to improve their knowledge and skills in an increasingly tough job market. In fact, many community colleges reporting their largest enrollment spikes ever attribute the increase to the need to meet the demands of a highly competitive job market.

To cope with the monetary strain of higher education, many high school graduates are simply opting for a low tuition option such as in-state or community colleges, rather than ivy league, gold sticker institutions.

Many new college grads, who faced a dreary job outlook upon their recent graduation, are opting to go straight into grad school, fearing uncertain immediate employment future. In fact, the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that 26% of new grads planned to go on to graduate school, up from 24% in 2008 and 20% in 2007.

So, with all this emphasis on going back to school, we want to know what you think. Is it worth it to get a college or graduate degree in this recession? Let us know by voting in our poll below.

 
Are you struggling with the decision of whether or not to enroll in higher education? Looking to increase your skills, or hoping a degree will help you earn a higher paycheck? Share your thoughts on higher education in our comments section.

Second Jobs are Still Hot this Summer, New Poll Shows

At the beginning of this month, we asked workers if they were looking for a second job as the summer’s seasonal employment opportunities started to open up.

Of almost 1,600 respondents, 56% reported that they are indeed looking for a second job this summer – because they need the extra cash – up from 41% who reported looking for a second job to generate more income when we asked the question last November.

As economists continue to predict that the recession is nearing its end, these results reflect that financially, workers are still feeling the financial strain of the economy.

This poll also offers an interesting insight on the current unemployment situation. In this month’s poll, 24% of respondents said they are unemployed and looking for a position, down from 27% in the November poll.

When asked, “Are you looking for a second job?” 1,595 readers responded, and 56.7% said they were looking for a second job to generate more income, 9.1% said they wanted a second job to get their foot in the door at a new company, 6% said they don’t have time to work a second job, 3.5% said they didn’t need a second job because their finances were okay, and 24% said they are unemployed and currently looking for a position.

Have you found a second job this summer? Is it worth the stress of managing a hectic schedule? Share your thoughts and comments on working a second job in the comments section.

Mature Workers Face Toughest Job Market, Readers Say

The debate over age and the job search may still be raging, but our results are in, and according to our readers, mature workers are having the hardest time in this job market.

In fact, of the 950 votes cast in our poll, 70% of readers selected mature workers as those having a harder time getting work, while 30% selected new grads.

That doesn’t necessarily mean great news for college students who are already hot on the job hunt ahead of May graduation. The National Association of Colleges and Employers have projected employers will hire 22% fewer graduates than in 2008, and many job searchers are finding that it’s tough to land a full-time gig without on-the-job experience.

However, help and support for college students entering this rough market is available. For example, social networking career site LinkedIn recently announced a company wide initiative devoted entirely to equipping May 2009 graduates to enter the workforce. You can also read how college students can start preparing for the job search now.

There’s also help for mature workers. One great resource is the AARP’s support and guidelines for mature workers who are looking for work. Also, check out our blog post on combating age discrimination in the job search.

The age versus experience debate may never fully go away. But reality is, no matter what your age or experience level, it’s important to be dedicated to a cohesive, professional job search process if you’re looking for work. So, polish your approach today, and focus your time, attention, and efforts on landing those interviews!

Want to know what others are saying about age and the employment process? Check out the comments thread our poll generated. Have a question you’d like to share? Leave it on our Q&A page.

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