Archive for Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jobs outlook brighter for graduates

May 12, 2012


KU Commencement today

More than 4,800 Kansas University students will celebrate along with their families and friends at KU’s 140th Commencement today.

Graduates begin assembling on Memorial Drive at 10 a.m., and the traditional procession through the Campanile and down the hill to Memorial Stadium is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.

Though the weather forecast currently calls for near-perfect commencement weather, if it is raining this morning an announcement will be made at 9 a.m. about arrangements for a postponed ceremony. Check or for additional information.

A simulcast of the ceremony will be available at KU’s commencement website at It will also be shown at Woodruff Auditorium on the fifth floor of the Kansas Union and broadcast live on KUJH-TV, Channel 31 on Knology cable in Lawrence.

Ashley Bowser, who’s graduating from Kansas University today with a major in ceramics, is still looking for work in her chosen field. But fortunately for her, while she tests the art world, she’s already got another job waiting for her in Denver.

Ashley Bowser, a 2012 Kansas University graduate

Ashley Bowser, a 2012 Kansas University graduate

She’ll start as a manager at a Dillard’s store there. While it’s not in her degree field, it is a full-time job with benefits.

Bowser and about 4,800 other KU students walking down the hill today for their graduation are entering a job market that’s finally showing some signs of life after a long recession.

“I was kind of pleasantly surprised,” Bowser said. “It does seem like things have gotten a little easier.”

Employers plan to hire more than 10.2 percent more new college graduates than they did a year ago, according to an annual survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. And university staffers who help graduates find new jobs in Kansas indicate there’s been something of a rebound this year.

“Things are looking much better than we had in the past couple years,” said David Gaston, director of the KU Career Center. “We’d gone so long without hiring recent grads, there’s a need for it.”

The retail sector is doing much better, he said. Technology companies, too, are still interested in expanding.

Although the outlook is better, it’s still not great. New graduates are competing with that glut of graduates from recent years who are still looking for new or better jobs. A Gallup survey released last week indicates that 32 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds in the U.S. workforce were underemployed in April.

That statistic combines the number of unemployed with people who are working in part-time jobs but looking for full-time work.

Kerri Day Keller, director of career and employment services at Kansas State University, said that despite what mom and dad may think, even in the best of times securing a job right away is no guarantee.

“Regardless of the job market, it still has been pretty rare that new grads have a job at the time of graduation,” Keller said.

Chelsea Allen, a 2012 KU graduate.

Chelsea Allen, a 2012 KU graduate.

Chelsea Allen, a KU graduate from Plano, Texas, with a history degree has been looking for jobs in the collegiate athletics field.

“I’ve had some good success in getting interviews,” she said, but she hasn’t had any bites yet for a full-time position. “I’ve networked really well throughout my years in college.”

That networking, mostly done through internships in Allen’s case, can be very helpful. She had internships with the Big 12 Conference and the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. She’s still looking, and she said she’s willing to go anywhere in they country for a good job.

“I feel like you’re only young once,” she said.

Gaston said some sectors aren’t hiring as much as they used to. Federal government agencies in particular slowed their hiring considerably after stimulus funds dried up.

“That’s been a big employer for our folks,” Gaston said, pointing to several agencies, including the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Services, maintaining offices in Kansas City.

Adam Winnett, a 2012 KU graduate.

Adam Winnett, a 2012 KU graduate.

Adam Winnet, a graduate in linguistics from Overland Park, said he wanted to work in the U.S. Department of State as a foreign service officer. He’ll be heading to Colombia after securing an internship there, he said, where he plans to teach English.

“I haven’t been placed in a school yet,” Winnet said. “But there’s a lot of opportunities, for sure.”


Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Anyone going to work for a USA corporation should have two jobs. One of those jobs perhaps should be a "freelancing" type job. Depending on Corp USA is a huge risk.

There are several reasons which involve corp USA and elected officials killing the economy. The job markets have never bounced back since the 1980's.

For example:

  1. ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance.

  2. ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern.

  3. Tax cuts = the ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again.

Still A Bad ENTITLEMENT Idea – Bush Tax Cuts aka The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time.

  1. In the end big debt and super duper bailouts were the results which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

  • ENTITLEMENT - Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

  • ENTITLEMENT - Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Having two or three sources of income is not a bad idea.

Jayhawk1958 6 years ago

I'm like why even go to college because the jobs these students are getting don't require a college education.

bowwow 6 years ago

Do you really think every grad is able to get the actual job they want the day they graduate!? No, but instead of asking my parents or the government for money I'm finding a way to live until I can be doing what I want. AND because of my degree I was put at the top of the ladder at Dillards rather than starting out as a general sales associate.

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

So, why are we eliminating the state income tax?

hujiko 6 years ago

Making fun of a graduate for having any job at all? Let me guess it's Obama's fault too. You're pretty sick, but I bet you already knew that.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

We all know how much you miss President Bush, merrill. You should start finding links from within the current regime's tenure to reflect what is happening right now. (from a source)

salad 6 years ago

Ceramics degree! History degree! Communications degree! Art degree! Yippee!!!! college was TOTALLY so much fun!!! Uhhhh! But I can't find a job....and that's like totally uncool of the economy for doing this!

.....mean while, in reality, my company continues to hire young people from India, China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, etc....for engineering work, because there are not enough US citizens going into engineering. It's depressing.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Yet she will probably make a better manager than an MBA. She will be flexible and creative. She wasn't taught that the people she supervises are just slugs and don't deserve respect. She probably won't insist on a separate elevator so she won't have to hob nob with the riffraff like the failed GM managers. She probably won't run a company into the ground while walking away with millions.

Yes, more people should go into engineering, but people need to follow their passions too. And they need to shut down all business schools.

bowwow 6 years ago

WOW! You have an engineering degree and still think like this!? I hope your house is completely bare because an artist would have designed all of the home decor and appliances you own. I hope your not sitting in an office chair at work right now, cause an artist would have designed that too. People having this frame of mind is exactly why artist can't find work and have to seek other forms of employment to sustain life while they make art on the side.

bowwow 6 years ago

Reading all these mean comments is what every grad wants to read!! I guess that fact that I'm the only one in my family to get a degree (without the help of my mother or father) and that I was following my heart doesn't matter at all. I don't understand why an art degree is blown off as easy. I have a lot of friends that are business, biology, all different things and I know for a fact I've worked harder than they have and that I am I'm more creative and determined. The hours and hours of late nights spent in the art building trying to come up with creative and new solutions for everyday problems, i know that wasn't going on in all other departments. If I could become an amazing self sustaining artist as soon as I graduated I would! I have been searching for jobs and took the best opportunity that was available. I could have moved back home and lived off my parents or get on government funded programs, like foodstamps etc, like soooo many graduates I know. How can anyone have such rude things to say to a grad trying their hardest to make it in the real world as best they can!?!? This is Kansas, the only state to cut art funding, that doesn't make it much easier to find a job in your degree in this area.

-Ashley Bowser

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