Talked about often yet rarely examined, more than half of America’s college graduates are unemployed or underemployed - and those lucky enough to find any type of employment often find themselves in positions that require only a high school diploma and sometimes not even that (“College grads, unemployment, college irrelevance,” Web, May 19).
This generation of graduates may soon be called another lost generation. As the founder of a sports sales training and consulting firm, I have seen this story play out all too often. Students enter the workforce unprepared and unable to perform the functions that would ensure their success. They assume that jobs are plentiful and an application is all that stands in their way to gaining entry into the field. This is not the case. Job opportunities are few and far between, especially in today’s economic times. Particularly in the sports industry, companies and professional teams opt for unpaid interns to handle workloads with the understanding that the intern turnover really doesn’t cost the industry anything. The reality is that it costs everybody tremendously.
As our society has become increasingly wired via social networks, students have lost the ability to interact face to face. This is a problem. Business deals are still done with a shake of the hand, not the click of a mouse. This is especially true in revenue-generating positions, which dominate the available opportunities in every industry.
Colleges and universities need to offer more practical, simulation-based training programs that prepare students to perform the functions that will be expected of them when they are hired. For example, though more than 400 universities across the United States offer sports-management programs that drive students toward careers working with professional sports teams, those programs do not train students in the practical skills necessary to be successful in sales or other related areas.
With better training and more focused programming aimed at fundamental skills for real-world job opportunities, students will be better equipped and in a better position to grow and thrive.
Founder, Sales Huddle Group Inc.