There is nothing as fierce as an underpaid, overworked and indebted 20-something. The ever-slumping economy is leading the classes of 2002 and 2003 down a dark road toward frustration and instability. With the war on terror and the war with Iraq at the forefront of American politics, the economy is taking second billing.
Before President George W. Bush and Congress drive students into extending their higher education simply to avoid the depressing job market, they need to realize that we’ve done our 17 years of hard labor, and we deserve a chance in the real world. The focus needs to be shifted back to the home front and soon.
According to The New York Times, the future is bleak for this year’s graduates. Students are scrambling to come up with more viable options. Fields that offer a more well-rounded and versatile education, such as liberal arts majors, are becoming more popular. And areas such as pharmacy and nursing, which can almost guarantee jobs, are seeing significant increases.
Another sign of uncertainty is the decline in enrollment in what were once the most competitive and high-paying fields. Computer science, business and economics are down, due to the plummet of tech stocks, tech jobs and much of corporate America. Perhaps if the Bush administration was more concerned with the recent corporate scandals, tech majors wouldn’t be scrounging for work.
But they aren’t alone. According to jobnet.com, the hiring of college graduates will fall 3.6 percent from last year, and starting salaries are estimated to drop as much as 12.6 percent in some fields.
Still, ever-vigilant students are working every angle. The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students reports that post-graduate applications are up as high as 26 percent at some universities.
While fighting terrorism is certainly a necessary evil, the president and the Congress need to remember that there are still millions of people in the United States who depend on their help. It’s time for them to take time out and focus on the constituents, fix the economy and stabilize their own nation, before they go charging into another.