Entrepreneurs offer competing options for Tiger fans

Twenty years ago, it may have been possible to walk out of college with a degree in one hand and several high-paying job offers in the other, but in today’s world, it’s a far different story.

Graduating from college, while still viewed as important, doesn’t guarantee a job in that field. During the final quarter of 2016, 44 percent of college graduates were not able to find jobs in their fields, and they settled for jobs not requiring a degree. As of February 2017, 25 percent of bachelor’s degree holders were overqualified for their current positions.

While corporate jobs for college grads aren’t increasing, young entrepreneurs are. In 2016, millennials created nearly twice as many businesses as baby boomers, and created them earlier on in life.

Entrepreneurship has become an increasingly viable path to career success, which is why many students may choose to take it as an elective.

In entrepreneurship, which is taught by Julie Cuvelier, each class forms a business and gets a chance to sell their products. Most of the profits are donated to a charity of the students’ choice.

This semester, two companies are vying for sales: Big Red Company and the Red Paw Company. Big Red is led by seniors Tristan Weltruski and Nicholas Brass, and the Red Paw Company by seniors Taylor Lynch and Samson Burken.

Big Red is selling a windbreaker bearing the CF Tigers logo for $35, and the Red Paw Company is selling a cap ($20), a hoodie ($25) and a long sleeved T-shirt ($15), each of which is emblazoned with school spirit.

According to Cuvelier, the project provides students with experience in “hands-on, real life business creation.”

This kind of experience could be valued later in life for many of Cuvelier’s students.

Weltruski, who leads Big Red, said, “I would recommend for everyone to take the class, especially if they are looking into business as a career. It is an amazing way for people to understand what entrepreneurship is really like and gives the students great knowledge that will help them in the future.”

Good jobs are becoming harder and harder for people to find. The retail industry, which was once one of the most profitable industries in the United States, now is employing fewer people than ever.

Over the last summer, JC Penney closed 138 stores. Sears and Kmart closed more than 185 stores this year. In 2017 alone, Macy’s closed 68 stores, CVS Health closed 70, Office Depot closed 75, Abercrombie & Fitch closed 60, BCBG closed 118 and Payless and Rue21 both filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed 400 stores. The Children’s Place has stated that it aims to close 300 stores by 2020.

High paying jobs are also becoming scarce.

With stores closing left and right, and good jobs disappearing faster than the president’s credibility, the risk of opening one’s own business is no longer as intimidating as it once may have been.

Cuvelier’s entrepreneurship class teaches students skills they can use in the real world. Said Weltruski, “I think it helps with skills such as teamwork, leadership and problem solving; these skills are a necessity for running a successful business. It is something that I see every day when I walk into class. This will not only help them in business, but in the real world in general. They are learning to work with others, to make hard decisions, to get over adversities, and many other skills that are important in the real world.”

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