PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Graduation marks a rite of passage for college students about to enter the working world.

But the transition can be a difficult one. Many students in Temple University’s largest graduating class ever are still job hunting.

“I’m applying for jobs everyday, but still haven’t found something,” said Christine Bistline, a Spanish major who graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Businesses will hire nearly 20 percent more college grads than last year according to a recent survey, but with 1.7 million college students entering the job market, competition will be fierce.

“It was intimidating,” said Josh Laskin, a double major in civil and environmental engineering, “especially now that I’m actually graduated and need to get a job.”

For the first time since these students entered college, the job market is significantly improving. But many of them are graduating with more in student loans, which makes it a tough road ahead

Watch the video…

“I definitely have a lot of student loans, but I think if you just manage your money right, you’ll be all right,” said Julie Vitola.

Students who took out loans to pay for college average about $24,000 of debt when they graduate. But with the increasing cost of education and potential cuts to education, that number could very well go up in the near future.

Before these grads get to paying back their loans, they will have to find work first. They will go from full-time students to full-time job seekers.

Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE