It’s a hard-knock life


“We’ll keep your resume on file.”

These are the six words no graduate wants to hear, although, perhaps it’s better than hearing, “nametag and uniform deducted from paycheque.”

Well, choose your poison because only 51 per cent of Sheridan graduates will be hearing, “you’re hired!” for a job in their field, according to the latest provincial statistics.

The College Key Performance Indicators for 2011-2012 Sheridan graduates show 82.2 per cent had jobs, but only 51 per cent were employed in their field of study.

The KPI survey has been conducted since 1998 among graduates from colleges of applied arts and technologies. KPI surveys are used to hold colleges accountable for graduation rate, graduate employment and graduate, employer and student satisfaction.  Graduates are contacted by phone, six months after graduation and asked to answer a few questions.

Finding work is tough. Paul Smith, senior editor of Career Options Magazine, said, “We’re finding that it has been more challenging in recent years than it has been before.”

Smith believes the reason graduates face such a difficult time is fallout from the 2008 financial downturn and the decline of the manufacturing industry.

He adds that the roles have changed for employees. Many employers are looking for someone with reasoning, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, which aren’t necessarily taught in school.

“My English degree gave me a set of written and communication skills,” said Smith. “But it was a combination of my curricular and co-curricular skills that led to my opportunities.”

Megan Graham, 23, graduated from the Journalism-Print program at Sheridan with a diploma in 2010. She now works as a senior product specialist at ECS Coffee. Her daily tasks involve updating the website and writing product descriptions, far from what she had thought she’d be doing when she graduated.

“I expected big things,” said Graham. “I wanted to get into fashion PR but I ended up growing with this company and I’m really happy where I am now.”

Graham interned with a PR firm while at Sheridan but she found the industry to be highly competitive.

She advises students to take more from college than a grade. For her, leadership was a big take-away from her experience as the editor of the Sheridan Sun.

Jolanta Handler, 25, is still working on her diploma at Sheridan in the Advertising Management program, but is also working in her field full-time. She is the community relations manager for Boston Pizza’s Cambridge locations.

She creates community fundraising incentives and uses the organizational, problem-solving and time management skills that she acquired in college.

“Time management is always important,” said Handler. “Things are very fast-paced in the working world and without time management [new graduates] will sink.”

: Vasilis Glezakos, 25, is a Visual Effects graduate of Seneca-York who avoided the rat-race by starting his own T-shirt printing business, Pass the Soap, in Toronto.

: Vasilis Glezakos, 25, is a Visual Effects graduate of Seneca-York who avoided the rat-race by starting his own T-shirt printing business, Pass the Soap, in Toronto.


Some graduates are opting-out of the job search and starting businesses of their own. Vasilis Glezakos, 25, is a Visual Effects graduate from Seneca-York, who launched his own T-shirt printing business, Pass the Soap, in 2010, in Toronto.

“Dancing and making clothes are what I want to do to live,” said Glezakos. “Those are the only two things that I fully enjoy and I get to be my own boss.”

Glezakos supplements his income by teaching breakdancing workshops at studios around Toronto.




































Read on:

The Financial Post Gap between youth and adult employment widest in 35 years

Forbes 20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get

Forbes 2 Get Over It: The Truth About College Grad ‘Underemployment’

BuzzFeed 19 Successful People Who Had A Rough Time In Their Twenties

CBC.caWhy are so many of Canada’s young people out of work?


The National Post Today’s graduates: Too few jobs, not enough pay

The Huffington Post Youth Unemployment Canada: Young Workers Grapple With Job Market Built For Baby Boomers