Gray to Graduates: “Fancy Degree Doesn’t Matter”

In the real working world, a college degree does not mean much. At least that is what John Gray, columnist for the Saratogian and news anchor on WXAA-Fox TV 23, preached in an article he dedicated to the recent college graduates of Hudson Valley Community College. The college just made a record of handing out 2,310 degrees, which means 2,310 individuals are now unemployed and currently looking for work.

Such a scenario is normal, according to Gray, considering these fresh graduates marched off into an economy plagued with troubles. The toughest market in recent decades, as Gray put it. In his article, Gray wished to provide the graduates some employment tips that might help no matter how weird or unconventional they might sound.

“In the real world, the working world, a college degree means very little.” – John Gray.

1. You are not the king of anything.

“Be proud you finished college,” Gray tells the graduates. However, he emphasized that there are thousands out there who also have degrees and have no job. You should be thankful if you land a menial job. You should also smile while doing it.

2. Life’s a ladder. Climb it.

Fresh graduates must not think too highly of themselves and station themselves above everyone else. If you are fresh out of college, you are in no position to demand a high profile position and salary. You and everyone else always start at the bottom rung. Be grateful you are even on the ladder to begin with.

3. Get your family involved.

Once you get out of college, you are going to need every contact or connection you can get your hands on. Start with your own family. Maybe your uncle knows someone who can get you a job. If so, then pick up the phone and ask for help.

4. Send a thank you note if you get an interview.

This is an imperative, according to Gray. Whether you passed the interview or flunked it, always take the time to send a thank you note. It’s the courteous thing to do. The upside if you don’t get the job, Gray said, is that people will remember you for your actions and that could lead to an opportunity in the future.

5. Understand the math.

Whatever you do, always bear in mind that there are 50 available positions for you and there are 5,000 candidates vying for the vacancies. “That is the math you are up against,” Gray wrote. Many people spend a few weeks of vacation after graduation. Gray recommends ditching the vacation and going straight to job hunting mode.

“Trust me, your competition isn’t going to Lake George with sun block and a 12 pack of Coors Light,” Gray said.


  1. self made man says:

    I never attended college. I didn’t want to end up with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and from so many news reports, you hear that college grads are finding themselves no better than the rest; Unemployed and uncertain about the future. What is the point in spending all that time and money?

  2. jasmin says:

    My husband has a job that has nothing to do with his degree and that is what happens 9 times out of 10 isn’t it? I love the advice you give at the bottom, ask for help and don’t take a break.

  3. Shawn says:

    This is true in some cases but not all, like a doctor still has to have that degree which is a good thing. But your right for the most part it means nothing because the jobs they want are not available. Yet we are still harping on our kids to go to college all the time. Why not train them to go out and get a good job and start making a living instead?

  4. Martha Andrews says:

    It is a real shame that this is the case… and that these young people are left with so much debt when they finally do get their degree.

  5. Gregory D says:

    I’ve definitely kind of had to sit down sometimes and keep myself from getting discouraged, because honestly I feel that even if I get that interview, I’m still going to be up against numerous others who’re younger and have more university qualifications. But you’ve made some good points here about how this is not all employers are necessarily looking for. You’ve given me the encouragement to keep on looking, as I’ve got plenty of experience that sets me apart despite lacking a degree.

  6. J Reynolds says:

    This is a hard lesson to learn for most people because they were pushed into college by someone or something and then they end up not getting it. And the degree does no good. What is the point really, I say go to a trade school that does job placement and forget the fancy piece of paper. I am sorry to say that for those learning this lesson but it’s true.

  7. Nicole R says:

    This is so unfortunate, high schools and parents are telling their kids they won’t get anywhere without that degree and then they go to college, rack up a bunch of student loans and get the degree that won’t land them a job (not to mention they will have to find some way to pay back the loans). I guess it’s the state of things more at the moment- but what are our kids going to believe is best for them when it comes to education?

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