In a big corporate marketplace, you may be right. In general, I think the one to ten person company is much more common than your scenario admits.
in reply to Re^3: Certifications are dumb.
in thread Certifications are dumb.
Specialty retail shops, transmission repair and rebuilding garages, accounting firms, law offices, schools, dance and gymnastics academies, and all sorts of other smaller, more local types of businesses far outweigh your 10% average with skilled or educated workers. You can't take a kid drinking Capri Sun and make him a wine steward in a week, and it takes years to be qualified to practice law or medicine. Even real estate agents in many states have to take a class and pass standardized tests to be licensed (I should know -- I took the class for my state).
The problems with graduates not being placed are many, and not just centered around the number of graduates. For one, colleges and high schools overemphasize current shortages in particular fields, then there is a glut five years down the road in that field. For another, the markets in some fields fluctuate rapidly. The H1B visa program is used to artificially flood certain job markets.
One of the biggest issues with graduates not finding work is that not enough people are being taught even basic business skills as part of any non-business curriculum. If you're wanting more jobs available for well-educated and well-trained people than the current market provides, you need more small, niche businesses. Yet people who go to school for most degrees aren't taught basic marketing, basic business law, and basic accounting. They stop at trying to find jobs with existing companies so that someone else takes care of those essential areas. They aren't taught that risk and reward go hand-in-hand, and are always encouraged to play the safe side of any decision. The best time, in fact, to take risks with your finances isn't during a mid-life crisis, but when you are young and single without much to lose and have plenty of time to make it up.
If people want more programming jobs or IT consulting jobs, in particular (since this is Perlmonks), then more people need to start programming or IT consulting businesses. Yes, it's risky, but so is working for a big company (with big layoffs) these days. The secret, as in all businesses, is to offer someone something they can't get elsewhere. Higher quality, lower price, or a completely unique product or service that meets a need nobody else is covering can make a market. Ideally, you can come up with a product or service that people don't even think about wanting until they see it. Realistically, there is lots of room for cheaper, faster, better, or more local. That last bit matters much more to some people than the bit-bashers like us tend to realize.
One of the best side effects of more small, specialized businesses in a field is that more of the decision makers in the hiring process actually understand the field. That makes certifications less valuable and the portfolio evaluation and interview process more valuable.