The Reality of Entering the Workforce Today

It is no secret that as the years pass, society progresses, students get smarter, school curriculum gets more difficult, and in turn, landing internships and paid jobs straight out of college has become increasingly more competitive and difficult.

Last year, a close friend of mine had told me about an internship she landed for the summer; she was eager to build her resume and finally get her foot in the door in the corporate world. However, two weeks into what I had thought was the start of her internship, she informed me that she had already resigned. Her reasoning? It turned out to be an unpaid internship.

The ugly reality that a lot of young adults freshly entering the workforce tend to miss the fact that competition is consistently on the rise, and because of this, it’s harder to land paid jobs with a relatively blank resume.

You may be wondering now then how exactly someone is supposed to have a full-enough resume to land a job straight out of being a full-time student at college. Ready for it? Unpaid internships.

Employers have caught on to the desperate needs of college students to acquire experience before actually applying for the internships they have their eyes on, and while they still have a large applicants for these positions, a great disparity remains. The fault in this newly adapted system lies within the fact that it simply does not favor the chances of work opportunities for students that are providing for themselves.

Photo Credit: IMCreator

During their undergraduate years, students accumulate debt by the day. And while most of them are enrolled as full-time students, they do not have the time to work these unpaid internships to beef up their resumes while also working a part-time job on the side to allow them to pay their bills.

These unpaid internships discourage low-income students to apply because they know it is not a realistic choice for them when their priorities lie first within getting good grades and making sure they have bread on their table every night.

The most striking reality of it all is that this creates a central divide in the workforce in society as early as college years. Because when it comes down to it, the only students that can comfortably accept these unpaid internships are those who still receive financial help from their families or sponsors. They are able to take up more opportunities to help prepare them for their dream professions. And in turn, they are more likely to land those jobs because of their experiences.

Like with many other inequities we face in our society today, this workforce divide follows the same theme: the rich keep getting richer. And like all other inequities, we, as a society, are already aware of the solution we need to put into action: bridging that gap.