WIMLINGTON, NC (WECT) - Thousands of students will graduate nationwide this month, but studies show that only 21 percent of graduating seniors have full time jobs lined up.
Karen Thompson, with the UNCW Career Center, said the job outlook is the worst she has ever seen.
"There was a difficult time back in the 1980's, but it was not as bad as it is right now," said Thompson. "The market is definitely more challenging than it's ever been in the years I've been in this industry.
Some students, like UNCW senior Josh Williams, are lucky enough to begin their careers soon after graduation. Williams is moving to Savannah, Georgia to become a budget analyst.
"From what I've seen from my friends, they are having trouble getting jobs or going to grad school," said Williams. "I feel lucky to be in the position I'm in because of that."
Typically it takes a college graduate six months to find a job, but studies show the class of 2009 should expect it to take nine months. That's why many seniors are opting to continue their education instead of looking for a career.
"The people who can afford it are going to grad school and law school right now, which is going to put the people who can't afford it right now, even further behind," said UNCW senior Haley Lovitt.
Studies show only 59 percent of graduating seniors are even searching for a career.