Dear Class of 2012: Now What?
Although there’s talk of the job market improving since this recession began, there’s still a haze of bleak statistics hanging in the air. Last year, half of all bachelor degree-holders under 25 were unemployed or underemployed. Even though the overall median salaries for recent grads increased by 4.5% in 2012, the total student loan debt is estimated to be somewhere between $867 billion and over $1 trillion.
Despite these discouragements, a good commencement speaker at graduation can help cut through some of the numbers, provide a laugh, and maybe even stick with you when you’re confronting “the real world.” It’s that power of positive speech that lead Phoebe Connelly, a senior editor at Yahoo! News, to create Dear Class of 2012 in conjunction with Yahoo’s reporting on the millions of young adults now entering the workforce. Here’s what she had to say about the project so far, plus her own advice to graduates.