Why Inexperienced Workers Can’t Get Entry-Level Jobs

The requirements for “entry level” jobs have shifted. Research shows that on average, 35% of entry level positions require years of prior work experience.  This is not how it should be. Entry level jobs are supposed to be a development & training ground for outstanding talent that is ready to learn and hit the ground running. The requirement for significant work experience also puts many diverse candidates at a disadvantage because they  often don’t have the same access to the internships which are often an acceptable proxy for the entry level jobs that require work experience. 
What’s one solution to this problem? Catapult Leaders helps college students secure co-ops and internships with great companies. Several of our client companies are looking for engineers for their co-ops and internships. If you’re looking for a co-op or  internship or know someone who is, please have them email their resume to Sally@CatapultLeaders.com. We will follow-up with you. All submissions are confidential.
Continue reading below for the article.

By Kate Morgan / BBC.com

‘Entry-level’ jobs used to be the way for new graduates to enter the workforce. But many are now requiring prior experience.

As anyone who’s graduated from university or applied for their first job in recent years can attest to, something new – and alarming – has happened to entry-level jobs: they’ve disappeared.

A recent analysis of close to 4 million jobs posted on LinkedIn since late 2017 showed that 35% of postings for “entry-level” positions asked for years of prior relevant work experience. That requirement was even more common in certain industries. More than 60% of listings for entry-level software and IT Services jobs, for instance, required three or more years of experience. In short, it seems entry-level jobs aren’t for people just entering the workforce at all. 

And while that first job is harder than ever to get, it’s also more important than ever, says Alan Seals, an associate professor of economics at Auburn University, US. It may be the bottom-most rung on the employment ladder, but a worker’s first position sets the tone for their career.

“The most important time in your career is the first three years,” he says. “The quality of your first employer really matters. So, how do you get that first job?”

The simple answer is workers need something more than motivation or a college degree to enter the workforce now, whether it’s lots of internships, or the connections to get around a complex application process without an algorithm weeding them out. But not everybody has access to those advantages, and the result is that workers are being left behind.

The rise of the internship 

An ever-growing internship market means more young people are fleshing out their resumes before they even leave university, says Seals, who notes many students are now getting their first internship after first year.

“Internships are now the entry level,” he says. “Most of the students in college are doing or trying to do internships, and now it’s increasingly common to do more than one.”

Internships are now the entry level – Alan Seals

Seales says this fact impacts the entry-level job market on multiple fronts. First, companies can save money by using interns to do that work without having to pay junior employees; the more interns a company has, the fewer entry-level jobs it’s likely to open.

Second, because applicants with one or more internships on their resume aren’t tough to come by, those who don’t have internship experience are left out in the cold. That can happen to students who can’t afford an unpaid or low-paid internship, or those who have trouble securing one. 

“In some cases, you need to have had an internship to get an internship. It’s also tough if you’re an ethnic minority,” says Seals. A February 2020 study he co-authored showed that employers are “less likely to respond to [intern] applicants with Black-sounding names” and much more likely to hire those who’ve had internships before. 

Add to that the fact that the vast majority of internship opportunities are geographically located near major cities, meaning those who don’t already live there or can’t relocate are out of luck.

“This is a problem – in the United States, the internships are on the coasts,” says Seals. “Those are the most expensive places in the country to live. If you’re in college in a region with no internships, now you need to not only get an internship, but find a way to afford moving there for a summer. If you have no knowledge of how the system works or how to gain access to these elite levels and places, you’re left behind.” 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

Click Here to get your free subscription to Talented the Newsletter from Catapult Leaders that’s all about getting your dream job, keeping your great job, interviewing like a pro, writing great resumes, dealing with workplace stress, getting promoted, negotiating for more money, thriving while being “the only” or “one of the few” like you in your workplace, managing bosses, knowing when it’s time to move to a better job…and more! 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Read the complete article HERE

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Want to Chat about your next career move? Click Here