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Archive for Sunday, May 20, 2007

Grads’ career outlook positive

Thousands of Kansas University graduates walk down Campanile Hill during Sunday's commencement.

Thousands of Kansas University graduates walk down Campanile Hill during Sunday's commencement.

May 20, 2007

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KU grads discuss their favorite memories - and give advice to next year's freshmen. Enlarge video

Today's commencement

Commencement begins at 2:30 p.m. today in Kansas University's Memorial Stadium. It should conclude about 4:15 p.m.

Graduates should assemble at 2 p.m. on Memorial Drive near the Campanile. There, they will be directed to where they should stand before winding their way down the hill to Memorial Stadium for ceremonies.

Memorial Drive will be closed to traffic between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. today.

Good news for those walking down Campanile Hill today: If you're ready for a job, employers are ready to hire you.

According to data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, companies plan to hire nearly 20 percent more graduates than they did last year. This is the fourth consecutive year with an increase in new hires.

"It was probably the best in (2001), and then it dropped off for two years, and it's been coming back every year, including this one," said NACE spokeswoman Andrea Koncz.

In fact, according to another survey from NACE, more than 50 percent of graduates already have accepted a job and an additional 31.1 percent have received at least one job offer that they are still considering.

All is not lost, though, for 2007 graduates who don't yet have a job offer or who are just now starting to look, said Gina Starnes, associate director of the Kansas University Career Center.

"If a student is ready to be employed, the jobs are there," she said. "If they want it, they can have it."

And, KU grads shouldn't have far to look.

According to a report from a national outplacement company, Lawrence is on a short list of cities with hot job markets. Joining Lawrence on that company's list are New Orleans; Jacksonville, N.C.; Dubuque, Iowa; Austin, Texas; and Phoenix.

"We're basing it on the job growth they've seen over the past year. Just from the past, we know that university towns have more going for them than a lot of other cities," said Jim Pedderson, a spokesman for Challenger Gray & Christmas, which was responsible for the report.

"We know that university towns have a good base of good employees, a solid labor force," he said. "Companies are attracted to them, and colleges tend to have a high level of entrepreneurial activity."

Starnes, with the career center, said she's calling this a turnaround year, with many jobs available. She said that she started seeing a wave of graduates come through in April - "when they realized they were graduating" - but that overall students had been proactive in finding employment.

Starnes also noted a growing trend among employers to offer internships to graduates with the potential for those internships to turn into full-time employment.

"There are employers who are still looking. Some employers are taking an approach like the federal government, where they hire you as an intern for a year or two and check you out," Starnes said.

Starnes said it was a particularly good opportunity for students to try out a career, make some money and decide whether they've made the right decision. About 25 percent of graduating students will eschew the job market in general and choose to return to school as a graduate student of some kind.

Overall, Starnes said, graduates, regardless of major, who are interested in jobs in sales, marketing or management are the most highly sought right now.

She also noted that K-12 teachers are extremely hard to find.

"I said, 'My goodness, is anyone working as a teacher?'" Starnes said.

Comments

Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

Congrats to ALL! Now go out and get a job, start paying off those loans and start paying taxes so the Fed's have money to pay for my retirement. Oh, and THANKS!

Liberty 7 years, 7 months ago

That's great news for those that are hired and can work for a good company at a good job till retirement. However, what happens to all those grads that don't get hired or don't find that good company to work for, that went into heavy debt to pay for that ever more expensive college education?

"There are employers who are still looking. Some employers are taking an approach like the federal government, where they hire you as an intern for a year or two and check you out,"

Sounds like some of that '50 percent of grads that have a job offer now' will be looking for that job all over again in a year or two if you don't "check out"... What happens to your future job prospects if you don't "check out"? Will the next possible employer want a someone who didn't "check out"?

Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

"According to data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, companies plan to hire nearly 20 percent more graduates than they did last year." Keep in mind this isfrom the same people who apparently believe, "Lawrence is on a short list of cities with hot job markets."

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