app screen for MasterClass

This year’s senior class deserves a great gift to make up for the last two years.

I don’t envy this year’s graduating class. It’s rarely easy, simple, or quick to land that first job out of college but this year and the last are historically tough. The good news is that the situation is improving. According to a survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, companies plan to hire more college graduates this year than in 2020. Still, depending on the degree, landing a job in their field of study may take time. 

If someone you know is graduating from college this spring, a gift that might help them find full or part-time employment will be appreciated and likely used.

Help finding a job is the gift that keeps on giving

Flexjobs is an online platform for companies and small businesses to post job openings. Flexjobs specializes in freelance opportunities and some of the world’s largest companies frequently post open positions where the candidate is free to work from home or from anywhere. There are job openings posted to FlexJobs for careers in accounting, marketing, graphic design, coding, and teaching. A surprising number of these freelance positions come with full benefits and paid vacations. I’ve read many news articles and reviews posted to FlexJobs from recent college graduates who are making a living working freelance through a job found on the platform.

Job seekers pay a monthly or annual subscription for full access to the job boards. If you’re looking for a gift for a graduate (or anyone for that matter) looking for a job or career change, a yearly membership to FlexJobs is $49 (at the time this article is written).

For life-long learners

Just because they’re leaving the classroom doesn’t necessarily mean they want to stop learning. MasterClass is an app you’ve probably seen advertised on television or social media. It offers dozens of classes taught by some of the most talented human beings in their fields. Cooking classes from Wolfgang Puck, music lessons from violinist Itzhak Perlman and Usher, a class on sales and how to close deals with Daniel Pink, yoga classes, writing, graphic design, fitness and wellness, and fundamentals of economics by Paul Krugman. The videos are highly produced and personal and most run between 10-20 minutes. MasterClass subscriptions aren’t something most college graduates would purchase because a yearly subscription is $179. 

Gadgets for their new place

If they’re leaving a dorm or small apartment there are a few gadgets they’ll need to purchase for their new place. They may need a WiFi router to access the internet. You can spend over $200 on some WiFi routers but unless they have a large house with 3,000 or more square feet, a less expensive router will do. If you go the route of a router, future proof the purchase by buying one that is WiFi 6 compatible.

Smart plugs make good gifts for anyone who wants to control their electronics by voice through an Alexa or Google assistant. I found a set of 4 smart plugs from Sylvania for around $30. These plug into a wall outlet and then you plug what you want to control into the smart plug. They’re best for lights, lamps, or decorations. You don’t want to use them for a TV or entertainment system as those things have to go through a boot sequence whenever you unplug them.

Luxury gadgets for the grad you love

If you want to spend a pretty penny on their gift consider any of the Apple products if they use a Mac computer and iPhone. Apple’s iPad Pro does just about anything a laptop can do. Prices on last year’s model will drop soon when Apple releases an updated iPad Pro this spring.

I can almost guarantee iPhone users will appreciate an Apple Watch but don’t dismiss Samsung’s line of smartwatches. The Galaxy Watch called the Active 2 starts at around $200 and looks more like a traditional wristwatch and works with iPhones and Android devices.