The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Opinion

May 9, 2014

Editorial: Got a diploma, now what?

As every college graduate has likely thought, "I've got my diploma, now what?"

For the most part, grads are thinking about careers when they ponder the feasibility of finishing four years, or more, of higher education. Was a college education a sound investment? And how do parents relate the promise of getting a diploma when contrasted against recent unemployment rates that often seem bleak?

A study release in March indicated that good-paying, full-time job scenarios deteriorated in large part to recent recessions.

But, good news, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced what college students have been told for years. Full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $480, compared with $660 for high school graduates — who had no college — and $1,199 for those holding at least a bachelor's degree. Among college graduates with advanced degrees (professional or master's degree and above), the highest earning 10 percent of male workers made $3,834.

It certainly seems as if that diploma will matter in the workforce.

Beyond that, of course, there's relief, joy, melancholy and every emotion associated with college graduation, as students and parents will experience today at Anderson University. Commencement exercises begin at 3 p.m. in the Ward Fieldhouse at Kardatzke Wellness Center. There will be about 500 graduates.

Baccalaureate begins at 10 a.m. at Reardon Auditorium.

All events are free and open to the public. If you can, consider watching the live webcast of the commencement beginning at 3 p.m. Go to www.anderson.edu/commencement/webcast.

Anderson University seniors are a few hours away from leaping into careers, or further education.

About 64 percent of hiring professionals surveyed by the Chicago-based consulting company Challenger, Gray & Christmas said they planned to recruit job prospects from the pool of 1.8 million grads this spring. That sounds optimistic when noting that employers had 4.2 million unfilled spots in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Whatever students choose, these grads should be filled with the anticipation of entering a workforce where they can begin to take hold of their own future.

Commencement opens a lot of doorways, a world of optimism and hopefully satisfaction.

Congrats, graduates. You've got a diploma, now what? Well, the first step will be to hold that diploma up high.

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