The Philadelphia Job Endemic: A Recent Graduate Speaks

TechnicallyPhilly.comTechnically Philly recently featured an guest column from Alyssa Dingwall titled I can’t find a job that will keep me in Philadelphia about the dearth of jobs in Philadelphia for recent college graduates. We are featuring an excerpt of the article below and encourage you to read the rest at

I can’t find a job that will keep me in Philadelphia: Alyssa Dingwall

Philadelphia area schools, like elsewhere in the country, have a mismatch between many of the degrees they confer and the jobs the economy needs. One 2009 LaSalle University communications graduate offers this commentary on how challenging that feels

Editor’s Note: Philadelphia area schools produce nearly double the number of business management and marketing degrees than there are those type jobs openings in the region each year, according to Campus Philly, while, like much of the country, far fewer STEM-related degrees are conferred each year than job openings here. This is a piece of commentary from 2009 LaSalle University communications graduate Alyssa Dingwall who shares perspective on being part of that mismatch.
I am exactly the resident that Philadelphia says that it wants, but this young, college-educated, proud new Philadelphian can’t find a job that will keep me here.

Every year or so, an article pops up about the brain drain in Philadelphia, from2002 to 2012 the challenge has remained, even though the numbers show a marked improvement: area schools attract fantastic and bright minds to all sorts of programs, but too many of them choose to leave.

The Philadelphia Metro Area hosted more than 400,000 college students in 2010, but still, even as things get better, just 61 percent of those who graduated from colleges in the Philadelphia area stayed in the region after graduating, with 53 percent wanting to stay.

As has been written, there is something of a new Philadelphia emerging — people who choose to be here, rather than people who know no other place. I am one of them, and I’m ready to work to stay here.

I am the first generation in my family to earn a college degree. My father was a police officer, and my mom stayed at home with my brother and me. We lived in a small house, on a small street, in a small town. Everything was small, and I wanted more. If you want more, my parents said, you’re going to have to work for it because nothing is going to be handed to you. They set an exceptional example for how to work hard, and I am eternally grateful for that. I shake hands, write thank you notes, always arrive early, and know that, as I was told, ‘if there is time to lean, there is time to clean.’


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