People across America have felt the rift of the current economic market conditions that continue to haunt students, alumni, and graduating college students heavily. Some encourage the notion of furthering their education even more, weighing the options of successful college graduates matriculating into a slow, and devastating workforce or re-applying to a university of higher learning to complete a master’s or taking post baccalaureate courses in preparation for a master’s degree. Recently alumni, within the past year of graduation, have had to endure the setbacks, job rejections, and budget cuts. May 2009 graduates, have a bigger dilemma on their hands. They wonder what’s next: more school or tougher times.

Larissa Shorter, senior accounting said, “the current economy has definitely encouraged me to further my education, not only do you have to compete with other graduates but with people that have lost their jobs and are trying to find employment, you need as much of edge as you can get, and I think a solid education will definitely help. I’m going straight to grad school!”

She is not the only person considering bearing another couple of years in school versus struggling to meet current financial obligations to maintain their lifestyle. Senior Brandon Lawrence in sports management, has resorted to a graduate school track to further offset the debt repayment he faces after graduation.

Despite the crash of many large retailers and banks across the nation, some research suggests that college students have a better opportunity that most would initially consider. According to “Economy meltdown on college graduates” by Christopher Leonard for the Associated Press, college graduates are coming out better than people already in the work force. In December, the unemployment rate for college graduates was 3.7 percent, compared to 7.2 percent for everyone else.

Alternatively, in “Have a degree – and pink slip,” Jessica Dickler for states that “There are currently a record number of unemployed college graduates seeking work.” Also, the article touched on statistics from recent months of unemployment for college graduates. “In November the number of people with a higher degree who were out of work rose to 1.413 million from 1.411 million in the previous month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Taylor McCune, senior in communication, says, “I’m worried about finding a job when I graduate. As a writer, whose industry is shrinking, jobs are few and far between. I’m lucky that my family will help me out until I do find employment, but that doesn’t make me any less nervous.”

When President Barack Obama addressed the financial state of America last week, viewers were able learn about the ways in which he hopes to remedy the financial slump, everyone is suffering. With higher food and retail prices, teetering gas prices, and rising financial debt, Obama suggested fixing America’s finances will be a team effort and not take the strides of one or few but several if not all, to turn around the market that is breaking down small businesses, middle-class families, and the mortgage and banking industries.

As for students, the market may or may not change for the better within the next few months, but they should be constantly aware of any market changes and some helpful hints may include, minimizing spending, not furthering debt like credit cards, large purchases, and strictly paying cash for all purchases, using coupons, and eating at home will help save money that should go into a savings account and weighing your options in advance, maybe explore options for graduate or trade school. Lastly, if you are still exploring the job market prepare yourself for interviews and present the best you possible.

Ashley Young, who graduated from N.C. State in May 2008, has a hopeful outlook for the future. “During my time as an undergraduate I not only acquired theoretical knowledge, but I also learned how to deal with challenges and adversity that life presents. I am more motivated about furthering my education and excited about gaining work experience to become more competitive. I believe the key to surviving during this economic situation as a soon-to-be college graduate is to be optimistic, humble and patient; be encouraged and know that you are not alone and the opportunity for advancement is closer than you think.”