Ireland, Taiwan, America — snapshots from 3 post-graduate employment landscapes


The government is recommending that students return to graduate school. Employers cite that the economy will be weak, and poorly equipped to absorb graduates as exports in this manufacturing magnate are down in the US and elsewhere. The extra time in graduate school will hopefully make them into even more productive people once the economy cheers up… Wages are plunging for recent graduates, however. This creates an excellent position for firms to be in, absorbing affordable new hires before any soft of dynamism in the economy prices them out of reach. It’s an equation that’s encircling the globe right now.


Unemployment reaches upward to 11.8%, pushing salaries for incoming graduates down on average, from 24K to 23K. Still not bad. Dublin absorbs the greatest numbers. Employers display disatisfaction with verbal and written skills — not a good thing, when employers are likely to offer less opportunities. They are hoping to get prime quality from their graduates. Apparently the average firm in this poll is shrinking the recruitment pool from 6 to 5, on average.

DATELINE, United States of America

Highly entitled US students decide not to jockey for jobs, taking the summer off while parents relieve the pressure… While some advisors recommend doing something, to prove that you’ve got some gumption in life despite the downturn. Meanwhile, in the UK, firms are looking for students who show motivation, somehow, as if to prove a point.

Our view is that the Taiwanese idea is the mainstream analysis of this crisis: find the right person, hitch them to the wagon, and keep them.  Simply cutting costs is not a strategy. We’ve probably reached the low point of the curve for this depression, and soon it will be time to compete again. The best firms realize that during recessions, large sections of the competitive marketplace disappear due to adverse conditions; they scale back research and development, they refuse to retool (just reduce capital expenses), and basically go into protection mode. What they don’t realize, is that the landscape may well resemble the current one, for a long, long time.

The Ideas that Run the Next Acropolis

Harry Dent, a best-selling economic forecaster in the US, in his The Great Depression Ahead, draws the conclusion that the next decade will represent underperforming GDP, low stock-investment, and high unemployment. This prediction was made before the onset of the current ‘crisis,’ based on the idea that the baby boomer generation is ready to become conservative with their investing income, move into capital-protection regimes, and pull back dramatically on discretionary expenses. (These factors have driven a hyperactive US stock market, and a booming consumer economy). Dent’s ideas arent’ scary so much as they are common-sensical. Basically, demographics define what your economy is made of. He cites the rise of the 20-29 year olds’ generation as the big mover and shaker generation.

Frankly, we were all waiting for the gen-y crop to graduate, move to the city, buy suits and Jettas, and stimulate things this way, but their demographic is suffering the most unemployment. So we miss the stimulus of having so many able-bodied, newly-minted smart kids running around.

Dent never factored in the financial meltdown we are experiencing, the global loss of confidence in lending between banks, and the massive loss of savings, portfolio value, and fractured institutions. This crisis indeed predisposes us to much less dynamic economic behavior, and saps the stimulative potential from new industries waiting to go online (alt-en, bio, green stuff, etc).

So for all those folks waiting for the economy to turn around, the news from Dent and Co. is not good: you’ll have to wait until 2023 for your rebound. This kind of crisis will not be solved quickly, not by any means at all.

This means one thing for the firms that plan to weather the crisis: bring your A game. And for us at the Next Acropolis, we plan to be the tool to locate the young people who have the where-withal to help. We believe we will pump new life into organizations, by making recruiting the new hero easy. We know that if companies want to source the best recruits to grow their organization, they should be able to look at what they will get from a new graduate: what is their intellectual commitment, what is their passion, what is their expertise. Having this ability will drive optimally trained young people into offices as junior associates and entry-level hires, and will power the next generation of the company to places it needs to be, to survive The Great Depression Ahead.


About stefan bund

Founder of Next Acropolis. MS in Information Systems and Technology, Claremont Graduate University... Background in software engineering and teaching.
This entry was posted in A Culture of Evidence in Academia, campus recruiting, career advice, Corporate Strategy, Depression-Era Economics, Organizational Behavior. Bookmark the permalink.

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