With the popularity of early graduation increasing, more students are graduating college before legally being able to drink. Does this create problems for them in the job market?

Ryan Brechbill, executive director for the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD), said Otterbein students that graduate early or at a younger than usual age can be just as successful in finding jobs as students that remain in college for their entire four years. 

However, Brechbill also said that students seeking to graduate early should be involved in clubs and organizations, community service, or internships and part-time jobs to make themselves better candidates to potential employers. He said academics are very important but need to be reinforced by extracurricular activities.

“Employers want individuals that are well-rounded, that can communicate effectively, that can solve problems, and that can work in teams," said Brechbill. "If you’ve had opportunities to develop those skills inside and outside of the classroom, it’s fine [to graduate early]. If students are just taking classes, an employer is going to wonder what else did you do with your time."

          

Additionally, Brechbill said that a job candidate’s age shouldn't matter to an employer, only the qualifications.

“I’ve worked with a good number of students that have graduated a semester early, and I'd say all of them have had at least one internship," said Brechbill. "They've taken full advantage of what Otterbein has to offer inside and outside of the classroom. It's really up to the individual student.”

When assisting students with resume building and job searches, the CCPD doesn't ask a student’s age, but only their year in school. The only question regarding age an employer can ask a potential employee is if that individual is at least 18 years of age.