As nearly every commencement speaker in America will point out over the next month or so, graduation is both an ending and a beginning. When graduates walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, they’re marching toward the “real world.” A tech gift just might ease the path that stretches ahead.
For many college graduates, the goal is to find a job, and you can give them useful tools to work with. Services like Pongo (free trial; $15 a month for everything) offer resume writing assistance, interview training and even live assistance to make sure job candidates are well prepared for tough questions.
If your favorite graduate still is using the computer she went off to college with, a new one would make a terrific gift. The good news is that computers have gotten considerably more powerful in recent years, and through smart shopping you can pick a new one up for a relative song. A basic Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook will set you back $1,000, or you can pick up a MacBook Air for the same price.
Most new graduates will spend the coming weeks and months going to interviews and waiting for callbacks, so it’s time for a serious phone. Consider the wildly popular iPhone 4S ($200), the HTC OneX ($200) or the Lumia 900. A phone is a very personal choice, so you may want to take the recipient along to pick it out.
With a resume, laptop and phone to carry, a new graduate needs a professional looking bag. Timbuk 2 makes a variety of bags ($50 to $300) and some can be customized in favorite color combinations.
And if you’re still not sure what to choose, nothing beats a generous gift card to the graduate’s favorite electronics store.
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