Recent College Grads: What’s Next?
Do college graduates make more money than high school graduates? Why are college grads still living with their parents? What should college grads do before moving to China and after settling ? These are some of the questions that most college grads ask themselves after graduating. Even though the economy is starting to be a bit friendly, the college grads unemployment rate is still high. In fact, most people aged 24-34 years had considered moving back home.
So, what should I do after college if I want to build a startup?
First things first. As long as you are 22 years old, there two important things you need to know:
- Acknowledge that you are now entering some of the greatest years of your life.
- Don’t go practical. It’s not the time to be “safe”. In other words, this is not the time to get that job your mom always wanted you to get. This is the time to realize that you have a 5-year window to grab what you want from life.
Is it a good idea for you to create a business startup right after college? Well, you need to know that becoming self-employed is a tough challenge…this applies to everyone. The journey gets tougher once you start your own business. According to statistics, 90% of new businesses fail with the first five years. Not an encouraging figure but your startup might be in the other bracket. This is what you should ask yourself.
What’s driving you to take up the challenge?
If you want to be self-employed because you think that you just need to work for a few hours per day, or this is a short cut to riches, you are in for a big disappointment. Keep in mind that a new entrepreneur needs to work for about 10 hours per day. The only way to make your startup successful is by making sure that:
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- You value the importance of a customer.
- You offer products or services that beat your competitors.
- You are willing to solve problems.
Are you passionate about the business? Do you love the idea behind it?
You can only attain the level of success you want if you are motivated by love and passion for the business. If the central idea makes you excited and more enthusiastic, you are on the right track. This doesn’t mean that if you love video games, you should start your gaming company. Think about something that you’ve already done for someone. How well was it received?
How will you handle the finances?
You’ve just graduated, and you want to start your own business. The first thing you need is money which most young foreigners don’t have. The second thing you need is an experience. Experience is important when you want to win the hearts of big investors who need to see that your idea is “real.” This shouldn’t discourage you. Take advantage of the internet which offers you hundreds of startup ideas at a negligible cost. Here, the startup needs to be service-oriented.
Can you be a jack of all trades and a master of all?
Remember, this is your own business. You will be the manager, the accountant, the vendor, the marketer, the advertiser and more. You will not avoid these responsibilities. Unless you have a huge budget, you cannot hire employees in a startup. However, you might outsource certain tasks to professionals.
Tips for college grads that want to start their own business.
Know what your competitors are offering
Evaluate products and services offered by your competitors. What is already in the market? How different are your competitors different from each other? It’s a smart move not to copy what is already existing in the market.
Identify your target
Don’t target everyone. Think about your target demographics – what do they need? Who are they? What do they like? What’s their behavior?
Look for an existing problem in the society
Rather than brainstorming for a new idea, try looking for a problem in the real world and come up with a solution.
Don’t be too afraid to ask for help
By now, you’ve already established the core idea for your brand. Seek financial help and advice from successful entrepreneurs.
College grads are living with parents – Is it a right or bad idea?
The main reason as to why most college grads are still living with their parents is the lack of employment. In fact, there are very few entry-level job opportunities for graduates. Most companies require you to have at least a 2-year working experience. Don’t be surprised to find some employed college grads are still living with their parents.
Secondly, today’s internships don’t pay. With no money to pay for their rent, most college grads prefer staying with their parents. In fact, most parents prefer housing their children before a good job comes along.
Third, the salaries are small, but expenses are high. This is due to the status of the economy. The cost of food, fuel and rent has almost doubled since 2012.
Lastly, the students’ loans are crippling graduate students. For instance, by 2013, the students’ debt had reached $1.08 trillion. This means that a graduate student may have more than $40000 of student debt. This means that he/she prefers to return home, delay marriage and family and start to save money to pay back the loan.
Do college graduates make more money than high school graduates?
Yes, they do. According to research, college graduates make 84% more money than high school grads. Even though the cost of higher education is very expensive, the returns are way better. Here is a breakdown of average annual salaries of various educational levels:
- High school dropouts – $18743
- High school graduates – $27915