Resources Perceived Most Effective by First-Generation College Graduates for Job Attainment

Catherine Ann Sklarz, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to explore the resources that first-generation college graduates found to be most effective toward receiving a full-time job offer within six months of completing their bachelor’s degree. First-generation college students are often an overlooked population on college campuses beyond their sophomore year of study. Parental education level appears to have an impact the overall college experience for first-generation college students, which includes their preparation for successful transition from college to career. Despite being at a disadvantage, many first-generation college students are able to find a full-time job upon graduation, but more research is needed to better understand the full scope of their experiences. The purpose of this study was to further explore the experiences of first-generation graduates and their successful navigation through career exploration, preparation, and successful receipt of a full-time job within six-months of graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Using a phenomenological methodology, the researcher identified themes based on the experiences of recent college graduates to gain a better understanding of their success. Results of this study identified six overarching themes: family, motivation, involvement on campus, resources, and job preparation experiences, and impact of race and culture. Findings from this study indicate first-generation college graduates will successfully transition from college to career if they find a meaningful connection with at least one adult o office during their time as a student.

Subject Area

Higher Education Administration|Educational leadership|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Sklarz, Catherine Ann, "Resources Perceived Most Effective by First-Generation College Graduates for Job Attainment" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI13860353.