Graduate Job Market May Look Better

Graduate Job Market May Look Better
By: Carly O'Keefe

Carbondale, IL - It appears the job market is a good one, especially for soon-to-be graduates. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers spring update report, businesses are expected to hire 14 percent more new college grads this year compared to last year. Starting salaries are projected to increase as well. Many college seniors on Heartland campuses say they're encouraged, and some have already seen evidence of a growing job market.

"I've had a lot of feedback, and a few offers, and that's the good part, when you know that your degree isn't worthless, it means a lot," said SIU soon-to-be-graduate Amaka Anaza.

Anaza is a business major at SIU and says she's noticed the job market is looking up. Many students in the class of 2006 are able to pick and chose their employer and don't have to jump at the first job offer they receive. Many have received offers even before graduation.

"I have a job! I'm one of the lucky ones, and I can say I'm excited," said Anaza who graduates later this month.

Anaza says she started the job hunt early anticipating it could take months to land a job.

"I sent out tons of resumes,, You know, you network. Networking is really good," said Anaza.

Through all of her networking, Anaza discovered that with her degree, she's a hot commodity.

"It's really good out there. The competition is high, but I think coming out with a degree from SIU makes it better," Anaza said.

Octavio Flores will soon graduate from SIU as well. He hasn't been quite as aggressive in the job hunt yet, but says he's noticed employers are more actively seeking out new grads without solicitation.

"A lot of my friends already have jobs, and then even (the SIU Career Services) told me here that this guy has been hunting me down--looking for a mechanical engineer. I think I have a lot of opportunity right now. Not only me, but everyone in general, it's a good job market," Flores said.

Flores says he's sorting out his options. He has already been introduced to the corporate world through an internship, which he feels--along with his degrees in both mechanical engineering and Spanish--has prepared him for a career.

"I'm trying to find a job in a foreign market, there's 26 countries that speak Spanish so I'd love to be hired by an American company that's looking to globalize their company and just needs someone who knows Spanish with an engineering background," said Flores.