By Maria Valdez Haubrich000801_0269_0085_

When I started college the hot major was engineering (let’s see if you can guess how old I am?). Everyone’s goal was to work for Northrop or Boeing when they graduated. Today with unemployment at an embarrassing high rate, the scant opportunities for new grads must be a scary prospect. According to a recent report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers hired 22 percent less college grads from the class of 2009 and the trend will continue to rise as another 7 percent fewer grads from class of 2010 will be hired.

Not surprisingly, college grads are taking their careers in their own hands and starting businesses. With the number of entrepreneurship courses in college growing, grads are even starting out with some education behind them to help guide their way. Many already have business plans for an idea they had to create in class.

According to a Wall Street Journal article published in December, school advisors are all for entrepreneurship as a career route. Recent grads usually have less family and financial responsibility and can dedicate the time it takes to get a start-up off the ground. And with so much free help like SCORE and the SBA’s Small Business Development Centers, really who can say what is the bigger risk today? Looking for a job or creating your own?

Check out our book Startup 101: Quick Tips for Starting a Business. Makes a great graduation gift!