H-SANTA MARIA

May 19, 2011 9:42 PM by Ariel Wesler

Study finds job search for college grads getting tougher

Only half of recent college graduates have landed jobs that require a degree. That's the latest from a study at Rutgers University.

With college graduations around the corner, many seniors will either continue their education or enter a workforce with limited jobs.

Employment rates have dropped sharply in the last couple years and for the lucky few who find jobs, starting salaries have taken a hit too. It's all leaving many wondering if higher education is still worth it.

"I have friends that have gone to school for teaching, and they've been out of school already over a year, and they haven't been able to find a teaching job, and yet they have loans for over $100,000," said Kyle Hawkins, who did not go to college.

"Sometimes, you get lucky and you don't need a degree," said Luis Valdovinos, a graduating senior at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. "But just play it safe and get your education. You'll probably end up doing what you want to do."

The median starting salary for students graduating from four-year colleges is $27,000, down from $30,000 a couple of years ago.

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