Youth / OPINION : ‘College Diploma Alone’ Isn’t Enough

<i> Compiled for The Times by Laura Galloway</i>

In recent years, tough economic times have translated into a bleak job market for those graduating from college. But gains in the economy are expected to improve prospects for the class of ’94. Below, some Southern California students share their views.


English major, 22, Mount St. Mary’s

In today’s job market, the initiative is more important rather than the degree, because so many people have degrees now. The volunteer work, and other experiences that you have are really more important; any kind of practical experience is what is going to help a graduate more than just having a degree. A diploma is definitely important, but I don’t think that alone is a ticket to a job anymore.



Political science major, 30, USC

Fortunately for me, nothing is affected as a result of the economy. I have an ability to speak three different languages, a specialty in Southeast Asian languages. But if I did not have a language ability, I probably would be affected by the job market and I’d probably have to further my education through some professional school.



Political science major, 25, USC

There’s a lot of room for improvement in the economy. In the next few years, job opportunities are going to increase.

That’s why I’m inclined to go to law school--to allow for those opportunities to arise.



Political science and Chicano studies major, 22, UCLA

For the career I want to get into, getting a job will be easy. I want to teach. For anyone else that’s bilingual, things would be easier because it’s in demand. In other careers, I don’t think so. I have so many friends that already graduated and struggled and are still trying to find jobs. I don’t think my degree is going to make a difference. If you asked me that question five years ago, I probably would have answered differently. But nowadays, you need to get a higher degree like a master’s or you have to be be extremely lucky. You have to be in the right place at the right time to find a job.


Broadcast journalism major, 22, USC


I’m a little different because I’ll have a journalism degree, so I might be a different type of student in entering the work force than someone who is getting a theory-based degree. I’m somewhat fortunate because I could find a job in journalism--it just depends how low I want to be on the totem pole, if I want to accept a low salary or part-time work. I feel like I may be sacrificing because as a journalism major, you can’t go out and get a high-paying job at first. I feel like the jobs are out there, but the problem is the reality of the jobs and the things you have to do at first.


Finance major, 23, Cal State Northridge

The economic situation is looking better, but still I think that now is a better time than any to further your degree with something like a master’s. I’m in a situation where I will have my bachelor’s (this spring), but I’m taking over a family business, so I’m not going to have to go out and get an advanced degree. If I did, I’d stay in school.



Finance/real estate major, 22, Cal State Northridge

It doesn’t seem like too much is going on in Southern California. I’m getting a finance/real estate degree so I’m broadening my appeal--by trying to take out a little extra insurance making sure that I’m as marketable as possible. Instead of going out and trying to get a job right out of school, I’ll probably go back and get a master’s in business administration.