I'll put it this way... I graduated two years ago and sent my resume to well over 100 places and not ONE place called me back. So far I've got some joke of a desk job administrating a tiny executive jet operation. I've flown less than 20 hours since I graduated. NOBODY in my CFI class has a flying job right now but 1 guy, everybody else gave up and left the aviation field altogether.
It's tough. Very tough right now.
As for flight instructing, you don't HAVE to do it, but in a tanked economy like nowadays there's hardly any other time building jobs out there, or CFI jobs for that matter.
Get an internship at a major airline if you can. It was an extremely valuable experience for me and a great chance for networking.
Couldn't agree more. Get to know people and get noticed. That's the only reason I got my current job.
[Edited 2010-10-24 16:27:42]