Forget Fountain Pens: 5 Gifts New College Grads Can Really Use

Graduation giftsThe classic graduation gifts -- fountain pens, desk sets and copies of Oh, The Places You'll Go! -- are perfect if your favorite grad is headed for an artist's colony or off on a vacation. For that matter, the designer tool kits and retro luggage that were enthusiastically embraced by the readers of HuffPo College are great, but won't ease the path from the dorm room to the board room.

For most grads, though, life after college isn't going to provide lots of leisure for contemplation or cruises. With half of recent graduates out of work and student debt shooting through the roof, our young friends will need to hit the ground running, so the best gifts are ones that will help put them on the fast track to a job.

With that in mind, here are five of our favorite presents for the young grad on the go. And, hey, if the recipient gets hired, you can still buy them retro luggage for their first vacation!

Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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Cam Koll

A lot of TA's esspecially can be hard to understand. I found this voice recording pen was a life saver!

April 06 2015 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As a fountain pen lover and user, I think your piece is off the mark. There are still young people that will appreciate the beauty and usefulness of a fountain pen...especially if they have the chance to discover a quality one.

May 10 2012 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to walkermw's comment
Bruce Watson

I LOVE fountain pens, but they're not really helpful when it comes to getting that first job.

May 11 2012 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Bank of America Cash Rewards Commercial you are watching on AOL was stolen by BBDO for BofA! 2 BIG scallywag, miscreant THIEVES! The song is "You Can't Keep Me From Singing," -- the REAL artist is John Ford of the Strawbs - co writer of "Part of the Union" who NEVER gave permision, got PAID - much less allow his music in advert for BofA! Compare the orig with the ripoff and see for yourself at BOA was given a Cease & Desist and refuses to abide. Meanwhile, gave BBDO the boot last week

May 10 2012 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If a college Grad goes to a job interview with a top-drawer Montblanc, Pelikan, Parker Duofold, etctucked itnto his /her shirt will increase his/her chances of a hire...these show a sense of taste and self-respect...Want to try it with a $1.98 pen? Good luck to you!

May 10 2012 at 1:52 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

I'm sure what they could use most is a job in the worst economy for jobs since the great depression.

May 10 2012 at 12:54 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

I have carried a high end Pelikan fountain pen for years. I have two computers , an Ipad and all that stuff too. But, a nice writing instrument is a piece of jewelry, like a good watch...a little show of refinement that a Bic, or that pen you took from a hotel room, just doesn't display.

May 10 2012 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They don't need pens because most of them can't read or write.

May 10 2012 at 10:09 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

The more I know the greater I realize that Sing is the future. If yu are awake stay tuned to the Sing economic trends.

May 10 2012 at 6:39 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply