College grads and the college bound face a daunting question as they contemplate their futures and earning potential — “Will I get a job in my field, and how long will it take to get hired?” At the 2011 Ford Freedom Awards where Detroit and southeastern Michigan’s most respected legal and business minds gathered to honor native son Judge Damon Keith, we spotted a would-be attorney lingering near the artwork at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Rolling out had an opportunity to talk with Jarrid Brown, a recent Central Michigan University criminal justice graduate, about his future prospects and here’s what he had to say. –roz edward
How do the employment prospects look for you now?
Right now, I’m planning on going to grad school. So the aspect of future employment is up in the air. I’m hoping that it doesn’t stay that way, but as of now, that’s the way it is.
As a college grad, what are your concerns about what comes next?
Honestly — what I’m going to do next and how successful I’ll be doing it. … Is what I’ve spent all the last number of years working toward going to help me do what I want? Is there a job out there for me in the criminal justice field? Is it something that I will enjoy doing, something that I’ll wake up every morning and be glad that this was the decision I made and I’m glad that I made it? And is it something that will be stable for the rest of my life?
What causes these concerns? Is it the economy?
Just the knowledge that people don’t always end up where their degrees set them up to be. I know that as long as there is crime, there will be need for people who try to understand the nature of people who commit these crimes. But, at the same time I might be walking into a flooded market, and I might have to worry about not getting stable employment. It’s all a matter of knowing that everybody out there is trying to find a job, trying to be the right prototype for whatever division they are going into and it has me concerned whether or not I’ll be the right person for the job once it comes along. And if it doesn’t come along, what will I do then?
Do you have any advice for students that haven’t reached graduation, as to how they should get through college?
My best advice would be for them to find what it is that they’re passionate about and try to turn that into a career if you can. If you can do that, at least what you’re doing for your job, what you’re building toward is something that you love to do. With me, criminal justice was something I stumbled on to and found that I enjoy it. If you go into college trying to pursue a passion, try to do that as much as you can. Always have a fall back plan, in case things don’t work out. That hasn’t been the case with me so far, but as a general rule, I always have a backup plan.