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Job market showing optimism

04/06/2010

By:

Makayla Silva

General Assignment Report

While it still may be a difficult job market for the graduates of 2010, Marguerite Fadden, director of Career Services, said the employment statistics have improved from last year’s.

With the recession pendulum slowly swinging back, Fadden said she is hopeful graduates in upcoming years will have job opportunities.

“The job market is always the last piece of the financial puzzle to be put into place,” she said.

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the northeast is the only region with a positive college-hiring outlook.

Though employers are cutting back by about three percent in the midwest, 10 percent in the southeast and 37 percent in the west, the northeast is up 5.6 percent.

The survey also said employers in the northeast are more likely to come to campuses and take part in career fairs than in other regions. That being said, fewer employers will come to colleges this spring than in past seasons.

Projections from this survey were made in August 2009, and a quarter of all employers said they will be reviewing their hiring needs quarterly or monthly. Therefore, numbers are subject to change.

For students with an associate’s degree, unemployment sat at approximately seven percent in January and four percent for those with at least a bachelor’s degree, according to the NACE.

Over the past year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) documented the unemployment rate changes across the country. In January 2009 unemployment stood at about seven percent, increasing to nine percent in January of 2010.

However, the BLS anticipates the opening of 54.7 million jobs over the 2004-2014 period with 358 million openings resulting from retirement.

Accounting, teaching and social work are all areas where a significant number of retirements will open positions for freshly minted college graduates, according to the BLS.

Alicia Insinna, a graduating English major, said she plans to attend graduate school at SCSU to get her master’s degree and teaching certification in elementary education before entering the job market.

Insinna said she has heard about teaching jobs getting cut in West Haven and other nearby towns.

“I mean, it’s nerve-racking, but teaching jobs are needed everywhere,” she said. “Everyone always needs teachers and I’m not limiting myself just to Connecticut. If I have to take more tests to get certified in other states to get a job, I’ll do that.”

Willing to take a permanent substitute position, Insinna said, “It’s better than nothing and you can make connections in the school and meet people. Just being in the school for a good amount of time will look good too because kids will know you, teachers will know you and administrators will know you.”

Fadden said it is important to consider opportunities “outside of the box” and explore those as career options. Networking, attending SCSU’s two-day career fair, developing a good resume and practicing interview skills are good ways to prepare to apply for jobs.

“Networking happens with the career fair and with all of the career services we offer,” she said. “You should write down a list of everyone you know including friends, family and professors to begin.”

Fadden said employers now strongly look at oral and written communication and therefore emphasized the importance of a good cover letter and good interview skills.

“There are so many factors,” she said. “But it is so important to not compare yourself to others when applying for jobs. It is so important to really utilize all of the services and resources you can in a difficult job market.”

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