A rise in unemployment shouldn’t deter students

by | Jan 24, 2014 | Editorial

The winter semester is here.

For many students, it’s the last semester before the daunting task of job hunting is thrust upon them. By now, several years of schooling have presumably helped prepare them for it.

Yet, despite those years in post-secondary, the terms “daunting” and “job hunting” still go hand-in-hand., This is especially pertinent now considering that a report by Statistics Canada has highlighted the growing unemployment problem in Toronto.

The unemployment rate in the city, not including the suburbs, has hit an alarming 10.1 per cent, according to StatsCan. Despite these numbers, Mayor Rob Ford is still holding on to his idea that Toronto, a city he’s had a large impact on in recent years, is “booming.”

But the reality is that jobs are difficult to come by these days, and the alarming spike in Toronto’s unemployment rate – from October’s 7.5 per cent to the current 10.1 per cent – potentially indicates the situation could get worse in the future.

Even earning a university degree no longer does the trick. According to a recent study from Colleges Ontario, a growing number of post-grad students are contributing to the five per cent enrolment boost occurring in Ontario colleges. It appears students are either finding themselves flooded with enormous debt upon graduation – creating a necessity for a job right away that may not utilize their level of education – or they are discovering their degree didn’t provide them with the skills needed for employment and therefore move on to college.

Though these are unfortunate scenarios we face in Toronto, this situation not only highlights the strength of college programs, like the ones found at Humber, but also demonstrates student determination in doing whatever it takes in the pursuit of employment, even during difficult times.

The task of finding a career after graduation is certainly not impossible, but it requires patience, an understanding of what type of post-secondary education works best for the student, and above all, initiative. It would certainly help to have a more robust economy, along with less expensive tuition fees.  The provincial government has to make these fragile aspects of our education system top priority. Students are the future of this province, and though the task of entering the post-secondary environment and learning what’s required is on them, a solid foundation must be laid out to ensure students’ efforts are not wasted as they begin job hunting. The emergence of ONTransfer.ca – a website dedicated to easing the transfer of student credits from one school to another – and the promise of more satellite university campuses are admirable steps in the right direction.

Students should remember that while at times the possibilities after graduation may seem limited, they never truly are.