CONSUMER

AI and budgeting are the biggest challenges for newer graduates, experts say

May 29, 2024, 12:23 PM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 1:33 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — With graduation season in full swing, the “real world” challenges graduates face may look a little different this year.

Landing the job, making money, and tracking it: These are important life skills for graduates that go hand in hand, as it does not matter how much money one makes if one is unable to manage it.

However, getting that position might look slightly different from a few years ago, as artificial intelligence started impacting job searches.

Angela Ashurst-McGee knows this, working on resumes for a living at Upword Resume.

She said one of the big ways AI affects the job search is through applicant tracking systems — ATS for short — which is any piece of software HR uses to track, weed out, and manage all incoming job applications.

“Customizing and matching up your resume’s keywords between job description … so maybe your resume mentions ‘customer service’ several times, but the job description uses the phrase ‘client experience,’ so you are going to make that tweak,” Ashurst-McGee said.

Once the job is landed and cash flow is made, the next step is to manage the money with a budget.

Jenny Groberg, CEO and founder of BookSmarts Accounting, knows how numbers and money works.

“You need to write out your life. How much is your rent or your housing? How much should you budget for food?” Groberg said.

With 80% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck in the 18-29 age range, Groberg said young adults stack about $2,900 worth of credit card debt. Couple that with inflation and managing money, it’s something many graduates face right out of the gate.

“You need to budget and you need to make sure you’re saving at least 30%. If you’re tracking it, and you’re consistently going over that budget every month, then you know that you have a problem and probably need to increase your budget. Then you’d line out your utilities, and then you might line out your gas and your books and things like that,” she said.

The idea is that, month to month, one can find and tune a budget. Another word of wisdom: Ask questions! Look to others who you admire or want to learn from and ask for advice in making smart networking and money moves.

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AI and budgeting are the biggest challenges for newer graduates, experts say