Booming Job Market Creates Demand for College Degrees… Gig Economy Offers College Job Opportunities…AI Software Overlooks Qualified Candidates

Booming Job Market Creates Demand for College Degrees

Nearly two years into the pandemic, the weak job market for college grads has turned into a job boom, with hiring well above last year’s and in some cases, upsetting prepandemic levels.

Although many internships, recruiting, and job fairs still occur in virtual settings, employers are hot on the trail for college grads—a situation underscoring the benefits of holding a college degree. Recently the chief US economist at global forecaster Oxford Economics said in a New York Times article that college grads have seen a faster rebound in job acquisition than those holding only a high school diploma.

Part of the reason for this phenomenon is that those without college degrees typically work in sectors that have been hard-hit by the pandemic, such as the hospitality and restaurant industries. However, office jobs frequently do not require on-site presence, which has led to the current demand for new hires.

Gig Economy Offers College Job Opportunities

Now that students are back on campus, many seek part-time jobs that can fill empty wallets. Enter the gig economy, which is providing cash-poor students with opportunities for part-time work, outlined below.

Taking class notes. Students can upload and sell class notes via three sites: StudySoup, NexusNotes, and Stuvia, for which notetakers earn between $250-$500 per class per semester. The bonus is that taking better notes translates to better performance in the course.

Tutoring. Whether it’s algebra or Spanish, tutoring students who have fallen behind during the pandemic can be a great way to earn extra cash. Sites for online tutoring are Wyzant and VarsityTutors.

Assembling furniture. Lots of people who buy furniture that requires assembly would rather pay someone to do the job. Posts for jobs like these can be found on TaskRabbit.

Charging scooters. Electric scooters and bikes need charging. Scooter companies such as Bird and Lime hire “chargers” and “juicers” to pick up scooters, charge them, and return them to their stations.

Source: Kristof, K. (September 21, 2021.) Job options for college students besides food delivery. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from

AI Software Overlooks Qualified Candidates 

Employers who have adopted software to aid in the hiring process are losing millions of qualified candidates due to AI’s inherent limitations, according to a Harvard Business School study.

Automation can effectively identify candidates and manage some aspects of the hiring process, such as scheduling interviews and even conducting background checks. However, while useful in routine functions, the software overlooks many who would qualify for jobs, leaving gaping holes employers need filled.

The culprit is automatic filters and overblown job descriptions. For example, say, a retail outlet is looking for a clerk whose responsibilities would include sweeping the store floor but has labeled that task as “floor buffing.”  If “floor-buffing” doesn’t appear on a résumé, that résumé will be passed over, no matter how well matched to the position. Consequently, companies from Amazon to IBM face unfilled positions.

Replacing paper applications with online submissions started in the 1990s and was designed to democratize hiring. But the huge numbers of online applications resulted instead in an inability to accurately sift through résumés. Using AI was seen to be a way to alleviate the problem, but it has led to unintended consequences.

Source: Dill, K. (September 4, 2021.) Companies need more workers. Why do they reject millions of résumés? The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved fro

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