06/22/2012 06:15 pm ET Updated Aug 22, 2012

Thinking Ahead When Finding a Job

When anyone thinks about the U.S. economy and finding a job today, we all cringe. Let's face it: The economy that was booming 10 years ago is just not the same anymore. Offshore outsourcing is sending manufacturing jobs to China and service jobs to India. Debt issues are increasing day by day. SO how can we be more successful in this economy?

Unemployment is increasing, meaning; the competition for jobs is only increasing, so you have to look better than your competition. For current graduates the unemployment rate is 13.2 percent. Money isn't everything in life, but it is a lot of it. As a high school student, you need to understand the repercussions of your decisions when deciding which college to attend. Many students decide to take out a large loan to pay for a liberal arts education, and then chose to major in something where they would be lucky to find a job in this economy. The lack of jobs in this economy has led to many college graduates relying on internships instead of full time jobs. It used to be unheard of that college students took unpaid internships, but now more then ever it is becoming a trend. These unpaid internships might be with top companies, but they can have you work all day and pay you nothing (only furthering your debt and loans). On the other hand, these internships are necessary to keep your resume looking updated and fresh. You really need to think ahead about your budget and see if you can afford to have an unpaid internship or if you have to focus on just looking for a job.

Students need to think about what their situation will be out of college, what type of jobs will pay off their loans? What majors will make you most competitive for finding a job? What schools and locations can help you make contacts to find you your dream job later on? All these questions need to be assessed when determining your future because in this economy, we need to be smarter economically and more competitive than ever before.

By Roma Chandhok, Mount Holyoke College