Why College Graduates Can’t Find A Job With A Degree

red and white for hire sign on front business door. If you can't find a job look for work

It’s hard to land your first job after you graduate from college. There are many reasons why graduates can’t find a job when they have a college degree. While some reasons are out of your control, such as economic issues, the job market, or competition, there is a lot within your control.

When you are job hunting, I want you to focus on things that are within your control. I want you to be disciplined about them. You must start preparing long before you graduate.

“Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.” Sun Tzu, The Art Of War.

Control along with discipline are the cornerstones of success. They are the building blocks of creating good habits. Good habits create good routines. Good routines create success.

This concept became very apparent when I started karate. Martial arts, no matter what field of study you are in, is an incredibly effective way for developing self-control and discipline. I quickly realized what I learned in karate went way beyond the dojo and I could apply it to all aspects of my life, especially in college and in my career.

A university degree doesn’t guarantee a good job. Below are 5 reasons most college graduates can’t get a job.

Your Major May Be Why You Can’t Find A Job

Within Your Control:

There are hundreds of articles written about why college graduates can’t get jobs. And while they are informative and accurate, they don’t address the most significant aspect, the degree itself. What you majored in matters. As I have said countless times, not all majors are created equal, some are worth more than others. If you have a degree in art, it’s going to be much harder to find a job than if you have a degree in social work. If you can’t find a job with your college degree look at what you majored in and see how employable it is.

Earn a degree in a major that is employable and high earning. These two factors are of utmost importance when choosing a major. That way, you won’t be graduating college and then struggling to find a job. The last thing I want for you is to work hard, get through college, then not be able to find a decent job. If you want a job right out of college Top 5 In-Demand College Degrees, will point you in a direction. When you graduate you will be in demand and on your way to becoming a higher earner, creating a successful career, and achieving your lifestyle goals.


Within Your Control:

In the real estate market, location is everything, you’ve heard it a million times. The same can be said about the job market too. You must be willing to go where the jobs are. This is particularly important for recent graduates who have little to no experience. There can be great opportunities if you’re willing to go where others aren’t.

Work Experience

Within Your Control:

Having your degree isn’t always enough. Many employers require some amount of experience, even for entry-level positions. This is where planning comes into play. While you’re in college you can be gaining the work experience necessary to land your first job. Work in a field that’s closely related to what you are studying. Better yet, work for a business that will pay for your college through a tuition reimbursement program. You can earn your degree while getting paid and gaining work experience. I encourage internships only if they are paid and within your field. Some internships can lead to full-time employment with the company once you’ve graduated.

If you want to find a business that will help you pay for college, Ulitmate Guide To Companies That Will Pay For College Through Tuition Reimbursement. has a huge list.

Use Your Network

Within Your Control:

Never underestimate the power of networking. Networking is a powerful tool for a successful job search. Your network whether it’s professional, personal, or academic can help you with finding a job. They may be able to connect you to a possible employer, they may know when a job opening will happen, or they can give you insight into the industry.

Black iPhone with social media icons on the screen being held in a hand. If you can't find a job use your network

Studies show that 70-80% of jobs are never advertised. How do you think these positions are filled? Through networking. If you are looking for a job, instead of searching job postings, it may be better to put your time and effort into your network.

Competitive Job Market

Not Within Your Control:

A competitive job market means there are more people searching for jobs than there are positions available. Searching for a job in a competitive market is never easy as even qualified candidates struggle because expectations are so high.

In a competitive job market, the goal is to stand out among other candidates. There are several ways you can do this. First, you must have an impeccable resume as this is the first thing most employers see. A bad resume can be a big reason why you can’t find a job with a college degree.

I want you to customize your resume for each job you apply for. I am a big supporter of LinkedIn. If you don’t have a profile, get one. If you have one update it. I wrote, The Complete LinkedIn Workshop For Students if you need some help setting your page up. Reach out to your network, and get their thoughts, opinions, and suggestions, they are a great resource. Nail your interview. Interviews not only show your personality they show your potential. Have references prepared ahead of time and if you can get letters of recommendation from professors. You will have an edge over other new graduates.

Making a perfectly tailored resume and landing an interview are not the only two things you need to prepare for when you are applying for a job. While your work history, education, first impression, and communications skills say a lot about who you are and what you’ve done so does your online presence. Social media profiles may say even more about you. Be sure to Clean Up Your Social Media Profiles Before You Send Out Your Resume.


Sensei Side Note:

The first job you get after you graduate has a significant impact on the rest of your career. This job will set the tone. If you get a position that doesn’t have a lot to do with your area of study, you will probably stay in it, or a position closely related to it. It becomes very hard to break away from a path once chosen. It’s not necessary for you to find your perfect dream job, but I want you to find a job that’s at least within your field of study. This will set you on the proper path to a lucrative career.