YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Statistics are showing that recent grads like you are increasingly without jobs. You’ve fallen into the skills gap, where you can’t get a career because you have no experience and can’t get experience because no one will give you the job.What is the skills gap? The skills gap is the problem where grads leaving post-secondary education do not have the experience necessary to enter the workforce. The youth unemployment rate in Canada is 13.3%, in the US, 10.6%, and across Europe at least as much. Employers are looking to hire people who already have experience. Searches on job boards will show that companies are posting so-called entry level positions that require a degree PLUS 2-5 years of experience. Employers are investing less and less time and money on employee training. Future employers readily admit that lack of real world experience is most often the thing standing between grads and employment opportunities. Rob Biederman, CEO of HourlyNerd says his company spends 95% of interviews with candidates on work experience and less than 5% on academics. Biederman is not alone, with other employers saying that they base their hiring more and more on what candidates have done and not what they took in school. Melanie Holmes, vice president, World of Work Solutions, ManpowerGroup, identifies the decline of corporate spending on training for the past two decades as one of the causes of the skills gap.The fact that employers are searching for hires who already have experience creates two issues. Firstly, technology and the world of work are changing so rapidly that it is difficult to find employees with experience in emerging technologies and work practices. Second, if educational institutions, employers, and individuals aren’t keeping up with these changes, the workforce will be left behind. What’s required is cutting-edge education. Have you made a mistake by getting a post-secondary education?Probably not. According to a Statistics Canada study, Bachelor’s degree and college graduates earn considerably more than do high school graduates. The B.C. labour market outlook predicts that over this decade, that 35 per cent of all new jobs will require university education, and 42 per cent will require non-university post-secondary education. In the latest ranking of the 100 best jobs in Canada, degrees are required for three quarters of the jobs listed. What’s clear from the research is that today’s economy and the proliferation of information technologies favour graduates with applied and technical skills over graduates with more generalist skills.The trouble is that a great of degree programs are not applied or technical in nature. So what can such students do? They need to take skill development and education into their own hands.Many already take advantage of the rich experience offered by online, bite-size courses. The problem is, as Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte points out, “most students are not sure which educational program will help them find a good job.” Few of these online courses come with any kind of assurance that grads will be hirable upon completion. It would help if these courses came with any kind of guarantee. (Of course, the MDegree at GenM does.)How do you land that first job on the path to career? There are a few options. You could pursue further education, some even predict that obtaining a Master’s degree could take over as the “new bachelor’s”. However, enrolling into a Master’s program is costly, and also comes with no guarantee that you will qualify for a job when you are finished. Practical career programs, like most MBAs recommend that grads get experience before applying. You could also apply for an internship. The key to this is to reset your expectations. As a first-time worker, you must be willing to take that internship (paid or unpaid) or entry-level job that can help you gain valuable work-related business experience and skills even if it isn’t your dream job. Employers require work experience and if you are willing to get your foot in the door, this will go a long way to build experience and help you identify your future goals. Sometimes the less desirable jobs help motivate you to learn new skills so you have better options. Don’t turn down a good job just because you need more money. You might have to prove yourself before you can negotiate. The most important thing you can do is to own your own development. Remember you are not entitled to anything. Real change starts with you. Stay current with cutting-edge technology. Most jobs will require you have at least some technical skill so do what you can to stay up to date.Take advantage of course content on the web.Making job requirements more obvious would go a long way toward bridging the skills gap. If companies would define jobs not only by traditional job descriptions, but also by a set of skill-based courses over which prospective jobs seekers could demonstrate mastery it would easier to fill in-demand jobs. Job descriptions could include a playlist of courses required to prepare for the job. This approach would help students figure the education and skills required for a given job. With courses available online and on-demand, every job seeker and every employee can take courses personalized to their career goals. At the same time, access to readily available and easily customizable content may encourage employers to hire and train less experienced workers because of the ease of providing relevant, personalized internal training. As it turns out, advances in online learning may be the best news yet to match emerging members of the workforce with companies struggling to fill jobs. This is exactly what we offer here at GenM. Courses matched to skills for actual in-demand jobs. Portfolio development strategically targeted to hard skills employers are looking for. Take advantage of our courses. You could get an M Degree and build a career and learn those hard skills to compliment your soft skills and build a portfolio showcasing your talent. Unlike other training options on the web, you will get a job, it’s guaranteed. And yes, you can do an M Degree while working or doing an internship, while paying off your debt, while you reinvent yourself. We are here to help.