The University of Kentucky held ceremonies this weekend to hand out diplomas to the newest batch of college educated job applicants ready to enter the workforce. Many local companies are looking to pounce, ready to hire fresh, enthusiastic new employees and the newest batch of graduates, looking for any sort of full time employment in their chosen field to help pay down student loans, are chief among the applicants that these companies will not be considering.
“We’re always looking for new talent,” said an HR representative from one of Lexington’s largest employers. “We are actually looking to fill a number of entry-level positions right now, all applicants need to do is send over a resume showing they have at least five years of full-time experience in the field.”
“I’m just trying to weigh all my options right now,” said recent graduate and future barista Tristan. “My parents said if I just walk into a business, hand my resume to the receptionist and I should expect to get a job paying in the mid-five-figures within a week. They always say ‘you’re a college graduate now, that means something out there’ but I guess they didn’t see the other 5,000 people that walked on stage before me to get the same diploma.”
Tristan went on to explain “my grandfather is even worse, I’ve tried to explain to him that milkman is no longer even a job so it doesn’t matter how much money he made doing that growing up. Also, he said he majored in milk at Transy, it might be time to put him in a home soon.” When it comes to the job market though Tristan said most students are just looking to make next month’s rent payment. “I’d love to have a career but I’d love to have a place to live next week more so I’ll probably just take the first offer I get. I heard Starbucks pays about $8 an hour and panhandling can make about $9 just starting out. Starbucks feels more professional though, especially since it’s only kind of food service. I worked hard for four years so that I wouldn’t end up at an Applebees.”
Students are not totally on their own after graduation; UK does their part in placing graduates in the work force when they can. This year over 50% of graduates with a degree in Agricultural Leadership will find jobs playing basketball professionally. The students seemed optimistic though, many proudly wore “Class of 2017” shirts emblazoned with the slogan: “There are over 5,000 UK graduates this year, and most of us will go pro in something other than whatever our major was.”