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Hiring of graduates sees a 20 percent drop

By James Maxwell
Wednesday November 28, 2001

New survey shows government, non-profit jobs will start hiring more graduates

UA students planning to graduate this year will likely have better luck finding government jobs than manufacturing jobs, a newly released survey indicates.

The recent economic slowdown hit the overall job market hard, with employers anticipating a 20 percent drop in the number of new college graduates they will hire.

According to the survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers - which tries to provide job-seeking students with information about full-time jobs - the manufacturing sector will be hit hardest by the slowdown.

In that field, 38.8 percent fewer college graduates are expected to be hired next year. But the merchandising, government and non-profit sectors have indicated they will hire more college graduates than last year.

Susan Miller, a marketing and special events coordinator for Career Services, said strength in the government and non-profit fields is not surprising because after Sept. 11, more people want to make a difference in the community.

Kelly Ward, president of the Mortar Board senior honorary, said that in previous years, employers communicated with students early in their senior year informing them of their job opportunities.

"But now the earliest you may hear from a company is January or February," she said. "I also understand some business fields may be hard to get into because they are currently in a hiring freeze."

Jessie Miller, Mortar Board member and physiology senior, said that the economic slowdown will make life more difficult for graduating seniors.

"Some people like to find a job early in the school year so they do not have to worry about it during their last semester," she said.

Susan Miller said that when preparing to enter the work force, students should be conscious of the obvious items that appeal to employers, such as communication skills and experience within the field.

"Students should get an internship or volunteer to at least get your foot in the door," she said. "Demonstrating leadership and the ability to work as a team member appeal to employers."

Jessie Miller said she has worked part-time and is involved with different clubs because it helps build up a resumé.

"It shows you have some knowledge outside of textbooks," she said.

Susan Miller said professional networking is always important because good ties with employers may lead to job opportunities.

She also warned students who send their resumé to employers through e-mail to make sure they do not use a fake name for the sake of professionalism.

The economic slowdown has prompted some seniors to attend graduate school rather than immediately entering the work force. Susan Miller said during slow economic times, it is normal for students to go to graduate school because it always improves their marketability.

She also said more jobs may open up soon as the large population of "baby boomers" currently working should retire within the next few years.

Jessie Miller said she has applied for a sales marketing job, which is her minor, but whether she will receive the position is not definite right now.

However, she said she remains confident about her professional future.

"I'm not too concerned, because I'm sure something will fall in to place," she said.


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