The numbers are against us

Fewer grads expected to be hired this year than last

The numbers are against us

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Students planning on graduating this semester may find they have trouble getting a job in a tough economy.

Tips to set yourself apart from the competition:

n Take an internship. Employers want experience.

n If a student can’t find a full-time job, take a part-time job or volunteer; it shows you are motivated.

n Think carefully about pursuing a master’s degree. Consider what you need for your career and factor in possible debt.

n Be open to relocation.

n Résumés and cover letters have to be impeccable and without typos. Résumés can be checked at Career Services. A résumé and cover letter should be tailored to the company you are applying for.

n Follow up with an e-mail and phone call after a resumé is submitted. If there is an interview, send a thank you note.

Source Ami Haynes-Hollis, associate director of Career Services

“I am getting desperate here,” said Hillary Micciche, who graduated from Kent State in December and is unemployed. She earned a degree in theater studies with a focus on sound and light technologies.

Employers expect to hire 22 percent fewer graduates this year than last year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. This is a change from the previous year when NACE expected to increase new hires by 16 percent.

“This class is going to have a difficult time,” said Ami Haynes-Hollis, associate director of Career Services.

“There’s no easy way to sugarcoat it,” she said. “It’s a tough, tough economy right now.”

The unemployment rate in January 2008 was 5.7 percent. This year, it’s up to 8.5 percent – resulting in about 214,000 fewer jobs than last January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Across the board, people are struggling,” Haynes-Hollis said. “That’s what’s so startling about the job outlook.”

Huron County has the highest unemployment rate in Ohio at more than 18 percent, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Delaware County has the lowest rate at about 6 percent.

Economics professor Henry Woudenberg said the economy will likely recover by late 2009 or early 2010 but not necessarily the job market.

“The unemployment rate will continue to rise well into next year because it lags behind the economy,” he said. He expects the national unemployment rate to hit about 9.5 percent at its peak.

Students also found that the recession increases competition, which makes it even harder to find a job.

Despite the difficult times, some students are hopeful.

“It’s scary, but I think it will only lead to a decent job down the road,” said Tony Mencini, a senior business management major. “It can’t get much worse.”

There are some industries that are thriving in the midst of the economic downturn, while others are hard hit by the recession.


Job layoffs to become more common in some sects

The finance industry has decreased hiring by more than 70 percent, according to the NACE report.

“Nothing is looking bright at the moment,” finance professor Paul Dawson said.

There are huge layoffs in the banking industry and chances aren’t good at commercial, manufacturing and service firms, Dawson said.

Despite the recession, the finance industry will still exist because “there will always be a demand for finance,” he added.

It is important for students to display perseverance and enthusiasm during these times, Dawson said.

“It’s a bumpy time, but there is still a demand for talented people,” he said. “In the long term it will be rewarded.”

New construction projects are put on hold

Both the civil engineering and construction industry are in a downturn, said James Bowling, superintendent of engineering and deputy service director in Kent.

The construction industry is hiring about 45 percent fewer employees than in 2008, according to NACE reports.

“The demand is reduced because of the economy… people are putting things on hold,” said Michael Bruder, director of design and construction at Kent State.

Laurel Screptock, operations manager at Builder’s Exchange, which provides services to the construction industry, said she has seen places go out of business because they can’t get financing or lines of credit.

“There is less work out there, (so) there are more firms competing,” Bruder said.

Bowling said the industry will get a boost from the stimulus plan, as it will provide about 398,000 construction jobs.

“New projects will help places stay in business,” Screptock said.


Nursing the economy may be the best bet

Dr. Tadd Maxfield, a soon-to-be graduate of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and an intern at Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital, said the medical field has a lot of jobs to offer despite a bleak economy.

“The prediction for medicine is . for bachelor’s degree and up, you’re going to be pretty sure to get a job,” he said.

Adam Farage, a sophomore nursing major at Walsh University, said nursing was a good field to be in right now.

“I can get a job anywhere I want in a lot of different fields,” he said. “The outgo of nurses currently working is greater than the influx. Jobs seem pretty available.”

Soon-to-be nurses might find that they have to travel to find a job.

“From what I’ve heard, in Ohio there’s actually not going to be a nursing shortage,” Farage said.

He is considering a job as a traveling nurse.

Accounting industry booming and expected to increase

Accounting professor Don McFall says a job in accounting will not be hard to find, despite the economy.

“The job market for accounting is really strong,” he said.

Matt Geiszler, accounting graduate student, agreed. “Accounting is a recession-proof career,” he said. “Whether the company is losing or making money, there is still a need for accountants.”

Although the need is high, McFall said there has been a slight decrease in jobs.

He said there are not as many jobs in industry and government accounting. As a result, public accounting is hurting.

One aspect of the accounting industry that is booming is the academic side.

“There are three jobs for every accounting Ph.D. (student) who graduates,” McFall said, adding that the starting annual salary is over $100,000.

Geiszler, who is working toward his Ph.D., said he was working in his office at a non-profit firm and read in a journal that the academic side of the accounting industry is thriving.

He asked himself why he was there and ultimately, he left his job and decided to pursue a Ph.D.

Accounting graduate student Logan Browning said the academic route provides him with security in a bad economy.

McFall said about 80 percent of students who intern have a job before they leave college, because the internship results in full-time work.

Accounting jobs will be on the rise for the future, McFall said.

“Anytime there are a lot of scandals and problems, Congress comes up with new regulations, (which create) more jobs,” he said.

Contact student affairs reporter Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected]. Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Jason Clevenger at [email protected].