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Articles / Preparing for College / The Fruits of A College Degree - Part 2

July 27, 2017

The Fruits of A College Degree - Part 2

Last time, we took a look at the results of a survey that tracked how college graduates are dealing with the realities of life after graduation. We saw some interesting statistics that revealed real-world circumstances vs. the idealistic visions of college students. In other words, for those grads surveyed, we saw that some, who had acquired employment, were far from happy with their incomes and job satisfaction. Others felt that college had not adequately prepared them for certain work, and a few were somewhat neutral about their situations. There were additional key findings too, which bear examining, so take a look.

The reason I've noted this post as "Part 2" of my previous post, is because I have come across related data that could be of possibly greater interest to college students. Zippia.com is a new Web site dedicated to helping recent college grads with their careers. This is primarily about expectations.


What college students, and particularly aspiring college students (high schoolers) need to consider is what they expect their college educations to do for them. This is the ongoing battle between idealism and the realism that I mentioned in Part 1: the realities of "preprofessional" education and that of "learning for learning's sake."

What is Zippia? Here's how they describe it on their landing page:

Starting that first job or changing careers can be daunting – especially if you don't know what's out there. Zippia wants to help you make these choices confidently. Our market-leading Career Map allows you to explore millions of options, showing you roles that fit your profile and experience. And once you know what you want, we'll provide you with actual job opportunities.

That piqued my interest, so I decided to give it a test drive, which resulted in some surprising results. Here's what happened:

The big section at the top of the page is headlined with the all-caps statement: GET THE JOB YOU REALLY WANT followed by "Career Insights Personalized For You."

Below that is a search window. Above it are three buttons: CAREERS JOB - OPENINGS - COLLEGE GRADS. I selected the last option and pretended that I was a fresh college grad with my undergraduate degree in Music History, which I actually obtained in the distant, dusty past. So, in the search window, I typed "music history." A drop-down menu showed me one related option: "Music History (Music)," so I chose that. Next, I clicked the search spyglass.

A wealth of information appeared, including this helpful information, which includes Growth and job Security grades (showing only 10 listings):

THESE ARE THE 50 MOST COMMON FIRST JOBS FOR MUSIC MAJORS

#1 Sales

Sales Associate

Top locations: Las Vegas, NV; Macon, GA; Kansas City, MO; Pasadena, CA;

Growth: C Job security: D

Job Openings

Salary

$60,000

=======================

#2 Office and Administrative

Administrative Assistant

Top locations: New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Boston, MA; Austin, TX;

Growth: D Job security: C

Job Openings

Salary

$33,894

=======================

#3 Office and Administrative

Customer Service Representative

Top locations: Pittsburgh, PA; Austin, TX; Albany, NY; Madison, WI;

Growth: B Job security: D

Job Openings

Salary

$27,716

============================

#4 Education, Training, and Library

Music Teacher

Top locations: New York, NY; Atlanta, GA; Philadelphia, PA; Vacaville, CA;

Growth: C Job security: B

Job Openings

Salary

$47,663

============================

#5 Sales

Assistant Manager

Top locations: Salt Lake City, UT; Portland, OR; Hattiesburg, MS; San Francisco, CA;

Growth: C Job security: C

Job Openings

Salary

$67,200

=============================

#6 Education, Training, and Library

Teacher

Top locations: Lubbock, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Hattiesburg, MS; Lakeland, FL;

Growth: C Job security: B

Job Openings

Salary

$43,200

=====================================

#7 Arts, Entertainment, Sports, and Media

Director Of Music

Top locations: Los Angeles, CA; Arlington, VA; San Diego, CA; Indianapolis, IN;

Growth: D Job security: B

Job Openings

Salary

$38,610

==============================

#8 Executive Management

Manager

Top locations: Los Angeles, CA; Boston, MA; Dallas, TX; New York, NY;

Growth: C Job security: B

Job Openings

Salary

$100,000

=============================

#9 Food Preparation and Restaurant

Server

Top locations: New York, NY; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Bowling Green, KY;

Growth: D Job security: D

Job Openings

Salary

$21,957

==============================

#10 Education, Training, and Library

Instructor

Top locations: Houston, TX; Suwanee, GA; Brookline, MA; San Antonio, TX;

Growth: C Job security: C

Job Openings

Salary

$53,000

***

I was surprised at the range of job types and salary levels. One can expand the list for more information and click on probably the most valuable link, "Job Openings." Under each type of job, there is a list of "Top Locations," which provides a snapshot of where the action is. I think this is very helpful and time saving.

I clicked on "Director" and it took me to a page headlined DIRECTOR OF MUSIC JOB OPENINGS - 38 JOBS. This startled me a bit, because there were so many. The latest listings had a small "New" tab in the upper righthand corner, which was also quite helpful.

Digging deeper, I clicked on "Sirius XM Radio Inc. Coordinator, Music Programming in Washington, District Of Columbia." This would have been right up my alley back in the day. Of course, Sirius XM Radio wasn't around then, but this is today and this tool is for today's college grads.

After clicking on that listing, I went to the job's data page, which was tremendously detailed, including the needed "Apply Now" button. I didn't click that.

***

In my view, Zippia.com is a tremendously valuable resource for college grads to see what's out there for them. It's also a key lookahead device for high schoolers who may be wrestling with the choice of college majors. Finally, even if you're in neither of these categories, it can be a useful job-finding resource, in general.

When I think back to the Fred Flintstone-era tools that I had at my disposal, seeing tools like this is similar to what we Earthlings will experience when we finally meet alien technology. Tools from another planet will dazzle us. Zippia.com dazzles me. It may well dazzle you, too.

**********

Be sure to check out all my college-related articles at College Confidential.

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Written by

Dave Berry

Dave Berry

Dave is co-founder of College Confidential and College Karma Consulting, co-author of America's Elite Colleges: The Smart Buyer's Guide to the Ivy League and Other Top Schools, and has over 30 years of experience helping high schoolers gain admission to Ivy League and other ultra-selective schools. He is an expert in the areas application strategies, stats evaluation, college matching, student profile marketing, essays, personality and temperament assessments and web-based admissions counseling. Dave is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and has won national awards for his writing on higher education issues, marketing campaigns and communications programs. He brings this expertise to the discipline of college admissions and his role as a student advocate. His College Quest newspaper page won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publisher's Association Newspapers in Education Award, the Thomson Newspapers President's Award for Marketing Excellence and the Inland Press Association-University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Mass Communications Inland Innovation Award for the Best New Page. His pioneering journalism program for teenagers, PRO-TEENS, also received national media attention. In addition, Dave won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award for Celebrate Diversity!, a program teaching junior high school students about issues of tolerance. His College Knowledge question-and-answer columns have been published in newspapers throughout the United States. Dave loves Corvettes, classical music, computers, and miniature dachshunds. He and his wife Sharon have a daughter, son and four grandchildren.

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