For us college students, our bachelor’s degrees may not be enough to get a substantial job after graduation.

No college student wants to hear that all of the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into their degrees are going to get them into an entry-level job that hardly pays above minimum wage. This is an especially hard truth to face for all my fellow students who have taken on mountains of student loans, us who owe thousands of dollars after they graduate.

When I was a freshman, I thought long and hard about what career I wanted to pursue. I realized that I really liked psychology and wanted to major in it. But upon researching psychology jobs in Rochester, I found that a bachelor’s degree isn’t enough. I would have to get at least a master’s degree in order to get a well-paying job in the field of psychology — something I couldn’t afford after taking out loans for undergrad.

So I moved on to a different career choice: English, specifically book publishing. This was something I have always wanted to pursue but didn’t think I could get a job in. I found all sorts of sites that said editors required just a bachelor’s in English. I was so excited.

Now, as a junior, I realize that those sites lied. You actually need a PhD in order to truly make it as an editor. If you have anything less than that, you’ll be working retail for most of your life.

This got me thinking. Most college students pay tens of thousands of dollars to get their bachelor’s degree. Why is this no longer enough? Why is graduate school now becoming a requirement? 

Graduate school was never something I wanted to pursue. I don’t have the money, and taking out more loans would put me in serious debt. Plus, jobs that don’t require a graduate degree will replace that requirement with 5+ years of experience. 

How are students supposed to get that experience? Internships are very selective, at least in the English field. I remember applying to internships that only accepted two people and never hearing back from them. It’s hard to stand out when you’re competing with hundreds of other students.

It’s a stressful time to be a student. I’m working towards a degree that probably won’t get me a job in my field. 

We all want to get a job in our desired field after we graduate. After all, we’re told we’re the future. But, with jobs being so selective with higher education and experience requirements, the future is looking pretty bleak. 

I wish that companies would be more accepting towards applicants with bachelor’s degrees. Us students work hard for our degrees, even the undergraduate ones.

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