4 Ways Dwindling Unemployment Rate Could Affect Students
What would your reaction be if the unemployment rate in the United States dropped to 5 percent?
Don't rule out the possibility.
It may take a few years, but a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimated a decrease in the unemployment rate to 5 percent by 2017.
Let's put this number into context:
- The unemployment rate in the United States was 8.9 percent to end 2011.
- The 8.9 percent unemployment figure represented an improvement from 2010 (9.6 percent) and 2009 (9.3 percent).
- The last time the unemployment rate was at or below 5 percent was 2007 (4.6 percent).
If the unemployment rate takes an expected dip in five years, how will that affect current and future students in online degree programs?
Here are four ways distance learning students could be affected:
1. Military veterans could return home to a smoother MTC transition.
The unemployment rate for U.S. military veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan was 12.1 percent at the end of 2011. Hopefully, that figure dwindles as the job market improves.
The U.S. plans to remove troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. If the job market is trending in the right direction, veterans could face a smoother military-to-civilian transition.
2. More job choices.
Job boards and online employment websites should list more available opportunities if the job market improves. This will also help job seekers narrow the focus of a desired career field.
3. More productive career fairs.
Career fairs can be a productive way to network with professionals and scope the landscape of a desired field. For the past two years, there probably weren't as many job opportunities available at these functions. The opportunity to network still made the trip well worth it for job seekers, but there's certainly room for growth here. An improving job market would ideally turn some of those networking meetings into interviews, as opposed to filing names away for future reference.
4. Dreaming big.
The everlasting hope is that job seekers won't pigeonhole their careers because it's the only available option - especially those job seekers with a college degree. An improved job market would broaden the range of potential career fields for job seekers, pushing them to pursue a career they truly enjoy.
Those dream jobs in desired career fields should be more available in a few years than they are now - nice timing for students in online degree programs who are graduating in the coming years. The one constant: Rare is the dream job that is available without a college degree.
The U.S. has seen a dip in the unemployment rate for the past two years. With any luck, that figure will continue to drop. If that's the case, job prospects for current and future students in online degree programs will look rather promising.
Photo credit: stock.xchng
About the author: Eric Sorrentino joined Grantham University as Social Media Manager in October 2011. Prior to his current position, he blogged about the Big 12 Conference for KUsports.com and was a sports copy editor for the Lawrence Journal-World. Eric received his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas.