Now What?

Mortarboards and diplomas don't get you as far as they used to. These new graduates are in for a bumpy ride

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Photograph by Joachim Ladefoged / VII for TIME

Members of the class of 2011 at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston

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One fix, says Prising, aside from colleges' guiding students earlier toward professions that are in demand, will come from employers who are willing to hire graduates with basic skills and then train them to fit the company's needs before putting them on the job. Prising calls such job candidates a "teachable fit," and it's a concept he says companies will need to get used to. "We're at a point in the cycle where companies look at 9% unemployment and think they must be able to find the perfect match for the job, so they're slow and deliberate about hiring," he says. "Over time that expectation will fade, and companies will have to take a role in making talent more employable." Should that time come, it will sure beat chasing after another $150,000 degree.

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