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Philip Gardner - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Philip Gardner Philip Gardner

Director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute | Michigan State University


An expert in college labor markets, workplace skills, and hiring trends


Philip D. Gardner is Director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. Dr. Gardner has been with MSU for 33 years after receiving degrees from Whitman College (BA in Chemistry) and Michigan State University (Ph.D. in Resource & Development Economics/Public Policy). His major areas of research include the transition from college to work, early socialization and career progression in the workplace, workforce readiness, and other areas related to college student studies. MSU’s nationally recognized annual college labor market study is done under his direction each fall. He served as senior editor of the Journal of Cooperative Education and Internships. In the spring of 2009 he served as a Fulbright specialist to New Zealand on work-integrated learning.

Areas of Expertise (2)

T-Professional Model

Transition from College to Work

Education (2)

Michigan State University: Ph.D., M.S., Resource & Development Economics/Public Policy

Whitman College: B.A., Chemistry

News (1)

The Class of 2020 looks for work

Wall Street journal  online


The Class of 2020 was primed to enter one of the most robust job markets in history: In the fall of 2019, the U.S. unemployment rate was at a 50-year low of 3.5%. Instead, they face one of the most challenging job markets for young people in decades. This spring, when many were graduating from college, unemployment for 20- to 24-year-olds was above 20%, according to the Labor Department, compared with the low teens for all age groups. About 25% of employers said they closed their open positions or rescinded offers made in the spring to graduating students because of COVID-19, according to a September survey of 2,408 employers conducted by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. “The hammer came down very suddenly,” says Philip Gardner, director of the institute and author of the study.

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