UA graduates face tough job market
Thursday October 18, 2001
Nearly 20 percent fewer college graduates than last year expected to be hired
Fewer recruiters than usual are scheduled to visit campus this fall to recruit UA graduates, so students close to graduation should start looking for jobs sooner and polishing their job-hunting skills, UA officials said.
Consulting, manufacturing and technology firms were the first to cancel their interviews with students this fall, said Marie Rozenblit, director of University of Arizona Career Services.
The interviews were cancelled because companies are not ready to guarantee graduates that they will have a job waiting in the spring, Rozenblit said.
"They don't want to make promises this early," Rozenblit said. "The market was tighter prior to Sept. 11. It's just gotten worse now."
Between 140 and 150 corporate recruiters visit career services in an average semester. This semester, only 122 recruiters will visit, if there are no further cancellations.
"Many UA students...are nervous and fearful in current economic times," said Jack Perry, career counselor at Career Services.
Employers expect to hire 19.7 percent fewer new college graduates in 2001-02 than they hired in 2000-01, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
However, some sectors virtually untouched by the economic slowdown are still hiring.
Many positions are still available in government and non-profit agencies, Rozenblit said.
Which students are able to find work depends on a number of factors, including their background, interviewing skills, the field they're in, how well they market themselves and which geographic area in the United States they are trying to find work in, Rozenblit said.
Hiring looks weakest in the West, and strongest in the South, according to NACE.
One senior said he is not sure what his plans are for after graduation.
"A friend and I are moving back East, and really that's the plan thus far," said psychology senior Kurt Bonz, who plans to graduate in December. "I'm basically taking four years off until I figure out what I want to get my degree in and then I'm going to go to grad school."
Bonz is going to aim for a low-paying job in psychology to gain experience before graduate school.
Another UA student plans to gain experience in her field while she attends graduate school.
"I'm going to stay out here for (fall 2002) just to save up money, then I'm going to grad school in California in fall," said psychology senior Jennifer Bailey, who will graduate in May.
Bailey is going to the University of Southern California, where she will do social work related to her studies, while attending graduate school.
Though future UA graduates have good reason to be nervous about the job market at this point, hiring circumstances may improve next spring, Rozenblit said.
Hiring conditions for UA graduates mirror the national job market, Rozenblit said, adding "the economy is shifting every day."