Gift suggestions for college grads

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The U.S. Department of Education reports that more than 1 million bachelor's degrees and 700,000 associate degrees are awarded each year. That means you have many reasons to celebrate the accomplishments of graduates - and just as many gifts to buy to commemorate these special events.

For the graduate who will either be going on to attain a higher degree or venturing out into the professional world, several gifts might fit the bill. Those who need some grad-gift inspiration can consider this list of suggestions.

Job essentials

Many graduates go straight from college into a new job. This opens up plenty of opportunities for career-related gifts.

When going on interviews, or if they're already established in a job, graduates can use a monogrammed leather portfolio or business card holder.

For those whose laptop or tablet is rarely out of reach, think about giving a portable lap desk. This makes it easier to catch up on assignments while commuting or working from home.

Leather messenger bags or valises are essential to on-the-go professionals. They can hold lunches, paperwork, a computer, phones and any other business essentials.

Cases and accessories for personal digital assistants and smart phones are always appreciated. They'll protect these devices from drops and spills.

Travel gifts

Some graduates take a brief hiatus between school and their career pursuits, making the most of their free time by traveling. Here are some gifts to make world travelers smile.

Tickets for a plane or train ride to a desired locale.

Personalized luggage for all of those destinations he or she is bound to visit.

Tropical locales are popular vacation spots and are often replete with underwater scenery to capture. Think about a combination swim mask and underwater digital camera and video camera.

A large wall-mounted map will enable the gift recipient to keep track of all the places to which he or she has traveled.

Techy gifts

As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, a graduate's gadgets may no longer be current or trendy. Techy gifts may be much appreciated.

Find out if you can increase texting packages or data usage on a current phone contract. This way the graduate will have more opportunity to network or use his or her smart phone to pursue potential career opportunities.

A new smart phone can be a useful gift. Find out the features the graduate would enjoy and give the gift of communication.

If the graduate is an avid gamer, a hand-held gaming device can provide entertainment while lounging beachside or in between job interviews. Bundled packages may offer the best value.

A laptop or tablet computer can help keep track of resumes and calendar appointments. It also can be loaded with software that can help graduates brush up on computer skills needed for the workplace.

Another gift that always works is money. Whether provided as cash or check, or as a gift card to a favorite store, money is something every graduate can use - especially when student loan repayment is set to begin.

Courtesy of MetroCreative Connection