Job market’s outlook worries business majors

Joe Zucker


As Wall Street struggles amid economic turmoil and the country’s business landscape changes, business majors may struggle to find jobs.

Students in the College of Business Administration are finding out that entering the real world may be harder than they ever imagined.

With the economy in a tailspin, some business majors feel they are in dire straits – uncertain if they will find a job as the industries they hoped to enter undergo unprecedented changes.

And some experts don’t foresee an economic recovery until 2010, despite the Obama administration’s $789 billion stimulus package.

“It’s all a cycle, and right now, it’s a really down time,” said John Warren, senior business management major. “You just have to hope that things will get better fast.”

As people with years of experience and expertise in the financial sector find themselves out of work, employment prospects for new grads may seem bleak.

“The whole situation makes you do a double take,” Warren said. “I have one plan, and then it gets turned on its head because of this recession, but I’m sticking with it.”

Kathryn Wilson, interim associate dean of the College of Business, has advice for any business majors who might think twice about their choice of career.

“I do not think the poor economy is a reason to second-guess being a business major,” Wilson said. “Rather, I think business majors will have skills that will be able to make them adaptable to the changing economic landscape.”

Derick Marken, sophomore business management major, feels confident about his choice of career despite the current economic climate.

“Clearly, I’m going to have to give a lot of thought to what exactly I want to do after college, and even though the economy is bad, people still need help with their money,” Marken said. “It’s going to be hard to find a job at first, but I think that with time, the job market will recover.”

Even as the economic climate presents challenges for small businesses, the College of Business continues to promote its entrepreneurship program.

“We try to really encourage entrepreneurship here,” said Julie Messing, Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation director.

President Obama has specifically looked at entrepreneurship as a potential boost to the economy. Michael Moore, senior business management major, said he has given thought to pursuing an entrepreneurship career.

“Entrepreneurship is something I have definitely looked into,” Moore said. “I am trying to see if it might be the best move for me.”

Wilson said economic woes shouldn’t make students shy away from starting their own businesses.

“I think some people are well suited to be entrepreneurs, and I would certainly encourage them to pursue it,” Wilson said. “Entrepreneurs are able to see where potential lies and take advantage of it, something that is particularly useful in difficult economic times.”

Pursuing entrepreneurship, however, can be challenging.

“I do not believe that trying to be entrepreneurial is for everyone,” Wilson said.

Marken said that becoming an entrepreneur only briefly crossed his mind.

“I just don’t think I could do it,” Marken said. “I don’t have the kind of creativity to come up with some revolutionary idea.”

Wilson said students on the verge of entering the job market should turn their focus to whatever is their passion.

“As you look for a job, have confidence in your abilities, try to work in an area you feel passionate about,” Wilson said. “And be open to trying new things or moving to new areas of the country.”

Contact College of Business Administration reporter Joe Zucker at [email protected].