The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 12.1 million Americans were unemployed in September, another 8.6 million employed part-time for economic reasons, and another 2.5 million marginally attached to the labor force. The latter “were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the [September] survey,” even though they “wanted and were available for work,” according to the BLS.
In a recent article in the New York Times the reported that “one in five people in their 20s and early 30s is currently living with his or her parents. And 60 percent of all young adults receive financial support from them. That’s a significant increase from a generation ago, when only one in 10 young adults moved back home and few received financial support.” They also reported that “those who graduated college as the housing market and financial system were imploding faced the highest debt burden of any graduating class in history. Nearly 45 percent of 25-year-olds, for instance, have outstanding loans, with an average debt above $20,000”.
These statistics paint a grim picture of the job market in the US. It gets even worse when you consider the unemployment rates for Blacks, Hispanics and veterans are two to four times higher.
These days, a 4 year degree is merely the expensive price of admission. According to the NY Times, “in 1970 only one in 10 Americans had a bachelor’s degree, and nearly all could expect a comfortable career. Today, about a third of young adults will earn a four-year-degree, and many of them — more than a third, by many estimates — are unlikely to find lifelong secure employment sufficient to pay down their debt and place them on track to earn more than their parents.If they want a shot at making it into the top 20 percent, they now need to learn a skill before they get a job. And for many, even with their parents’ help, that’s going to be an impossibility.”
Very few companies today seek college graduates for entry level training and jobs. In the 70’s and 80’s, large companies such as IBM, Proctor & Gamble, and Xerox hired college graduates by the thousands and provided months of real world, sales and management training.
Today, few companies invest that kind of resource into the development of college graduates for open positions. In fact, graduates today are facing competition not just from other graduates but from seasoned professionals with robust careers who have themselves been outsourced. As a result, 31% of college graduates under the age of 25 are unemployed, and a significant percentage of them are employed in jobs that did not require a college degree.
Even in today’s job market, there are, in fact, jobs to be had. An online check of sites like Monster.com shows over 750,000 jobs advertised. A quick observation reveals some very valuable information for college students, the unemployed, and job seekers… a breakdown of demand for potential hires.
Only 2% of the jobs advertised are in manufacturing… same for insurance, design, training, transportation, automotive, installation and consulting. 2% each. Even more startling is that general business, banking, education, quality control, restaurant, human resources, distribution, legal, warehousing, pharmaceutical and science each represent only 1% of available jobs. Better, are nursing and administration at 3%. Engineering, finance and trades are each only 4%. Information technology… the historical giant is only 6%. So where are the bulk of the jobs available in America? Sales. Over 24% of all jobs advertised on Monster.com are in sales,including sales, customer service and retail. The next biggest category is management at 10%, and most of those jobs are sales related. Yet the irony is that only a handful of four-year colleges offer a degree in sales. Amazing.
What is required is wide-scale access to sales and customer service skills in community and four-year colleges, and not just for sales jobs.
Every career benefits from sales skills. You have to sell yourself to get a job during a job interview. You have to sell your ideas to get recognized. You have to sell your performance to get a promotion. You have to sell the other departments on providing the resources you need for your project. Think it doesn’t apply to you? Think again. No cancer research doctor can do research without someone selling the funding for the research center. There are movie producers with more talent than George Lucas who are bussing tables, because they couldn’t sell their scripts.
Every job benefits from selling skills.
So what’s the solution?
Colleges and universities offering courses and degrees in sales is an answer for those still in college. Better yet those courses need to be enhanced with opportunities for real world experiences such as sales internships, work study and coop programs.
For those that are out of college and either unemployed or underemployed. Growth Development Associates offers sales training for individuals as well as corporations. We offer inexpensive on-line sales and customer-responsible training as well as sales management training in all seven areas of business success: Effective Sales Calls, Financial Justification, Creating Demand, Growing Accounts, Effective Sales Writing, Managing People, Interviewing, and Independent Sales Professional for those who want to work for themselves.
We also offer live practice webinars for every class for students who have successfully completed the on line courses. We offer periodic face-to-face boot camps with live instructors in three-day, five-day, and three week programs, including a three week Job Creation Initiative for federally funded job retraining for unemployed workers and for veterans of the armed services.
As of today we are filling the gap left by companies who can no longer afford extensive new hire training programs, continued training for their seasoned workers, and for students who want employable skills along with their degrees.
To learn more about GDA’s on-line training go to http://gdasalestrainingonline.com/ and to see if sales might be the career for you sign up for Sales Bites – the free video sales tip sent to your in-box every week. Sign up at the link below.