Toughest test after graduation: Getting a job
|May 19, 2010||Posted by admin under DECODE - Assess/Plan, DIRECT - Target/Resume|
Toughest test after graduation: Getting a job By Laura Petrecca, USA TODAY
Class of 2010 has to compete with laid-off workers and financially strapped retirees.
This past Sunday, hundreds of Siena College graduates donned lightweight black gowns and placed tasseled caps on their heads for their 9:45 a.m. commencement.
Given the bleak national outlook for post-collegiate hiring, perhaps they should have suited up in sturdier combat attire: They and their fellow graduates nationwide face a fierce battle just to secure a job interview, let alone full-time employment.
About 2.4 million students will graduate with bachelor’s and associates degrees as part of the Class of 2010, says the National Center for Education Statistics.
Those job-seekers will go head-to-head not only with fellow classmates but also with laid-off workers, financially strapped retirees and still-unemployed 2009 and 2008 grads. There are more than five job seekers for every opening, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures analyzed by outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.
“There’s more competition in the marketplace right now with the unemployment rate at 9.9%,” says Jason Ferrara, a senior career adviser at online job-listing company CareerBuilder.com. “There is more pressure for the college graduate.”
Fewer than half of employers — 44% — plan to hire recent college grads in 2010, according to a CareerBuilder survey. That’s about the same as last year but down from 58% in 2008 and 79% in 2007. CareerBuilder is jointly owned by Tribune, McClatchy, Microsoft and USA TODAY parent Gannett. A separate poll from Monster.com also found that fewer than half of employers (46%) plan to hire spring college grads for full-time positions this year.
Staying (maybe too) upbeat
Mental and monetary angst
“There are simply not enough jobs to go around,” is how Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute’s 2009-10 report sums up the hiring situation.
With full-time job opportunities not coming quickly, many students are opting for alternate paths. Some are grabbing unpaid internships just to add “professional experience” to their résumés, while others are relocating to areas far from friends and family to secure employment.
Some things grads are doing to make it through these tough times:
•Staying in school. Many students are relying on academic institutions to shelter them, by heading to graduate school, says Monster’s Kantrowitz. First-time enrollment of U.S. graduate students grew 6% from 2008 to 2009, according to the Council of Graduate Schools.
•Starting their own businesses. Nick Webber, who graduated from the University of North Texas on Saturday, plans to expand a custom screen-printing business that he and his buddies started last fall. “I’m really more interested in working for myself,” he says. “In the long run, this will be more rewarding.”
•Picking jobs that don’t fit their majors. “Students are becoming a bit more creative,” Kantrowitz says. “They’re more willing to look outside their major to broaden their search.”
While there is much negative news for this year’s grads, it’s not all doom and gloom.
Some industries are hiring college grads, such as accounting and retailing.
And those graduating with technology-oriented degrees are not only at an advantage to get jobs — they’ll likely bring in big bucks compared with fellow graduates with other majors. Those with computer-related degrees saw their average salary offer skyrocket in comparison with other disciplines, with the average offer rising 5.8% to $58,746, according to NACE.