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ERIC Number: ED535269
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 41
Abstractor: ERIC
Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy. Work Trends
Godofsky, Jessica; Zukin, Cliff; Van Horn, Carl
John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development
This report presents the findings of a nationally representative sample of 571 U.S. residents who graduated from a four-year college between 2006 and 2010. The authors' overall goal was to better understand the articulation between their formal education and their initial positions in the workforce. They examine how students financed their college education and how much debt they carried away from it, how well college prepared them to enter and be successful in the labor market, and what they would do differently in their college education if they knew then what they know now. The authors also show the diminished expectation of financial success this generation seems to manifest. The research explores students' first jobs in some detail. Questions focused on the intersection of their areas of study in college with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their workplace. They note the number who took jobs that did not require a college degree, the overall satisfaction of their first job, and their overall satisfaction with salary, job responsibilities, and opportunities for advancement. They also examine how these experiences are different for those having entered the job market before the Great Recession and those entering it while unemployment raged as the economy shed eight million jobs, and what recent entrants had to give up or compromise to get started in their work life. They also examine the current job for those having had more than one job in their work history. Appended are: (1) Methodology; (2) Topline Survey Results; and (3) Unweighted Sample Sizes for First Job Median Salary Calculations. (Contains 14 figures, 6 tables, and 1 footnote.)
John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Rutgers University, 30 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Tel: 732-932-4100; Fax: 732-932-3454; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A