With two months left before graduation, the wavering economy means an uncertain future for Temple University’s graduating class, and seniors are considering their options carefully.
Graduate school is one option for graduating seniors, but students worry that this means more loans and several more years in school, with no guarantee of a job.
Senior communications major Jason Shepard has joined his classmates at Temple sponsored career fairs and graduate seminars, but said that he is unsure where he’ll be heading after graduation.
“I know the main reason I’m considering grad school is because everyone is saying how bad [the economy] is out there,” admits Shepard.
“But even if I get a Masters in Journalism, I still might end up jobless after graduation, and even more in debt.”
For most students, debt is a major factor in any decision to continue on to graduate school.
Most loans have only a 90-day grace period before repayment is expected to begin.
Deferments, which give permission to postpone repayments because of a documented hardship, are becoming more popular for cash-strapped graduates, but the debt still has to be repaid eventually.
Graduate school is not the only option that the class of 2003 has available.
Senior education major Julia Crespy has decided to go into the workforce for the time being.
“My parents are trying to scare me into graduate school,” said Crespy.
“Eventually I might go back to school but I’ve had enough college for a while, I want to go out into the world and start my life.”
Students who have opted to join the workforce are hoping for the best in the current economic climate.
The University’s Career Development Services (CDS) have been sponsoring on-campus recruiting programs, such as the Spring 2003 Career Fair that was held March 5, to help these students find employment.
“I went to the Career Fair and talked to companies and filled out applications, a lot of them for positions that had nothing to do with my field,” said senior political science major Kim Hannon. “I want to go on to graduate school but I just can’t right now. Bills come first.”
CDS also offers services such as career advising.
Students can schedule appointments and discuss their options with professionals; resume critique sessions and mock interviews are also available to help prepare for job hunting.
“I’m scared of what comes next. Everyone says that the economy is bad and its going to be a lot harder for us then it was five years ago,” said Hannon.
“But I think most of us believe that if we work hard enough we’ll be alright, and that’s just what we have to be prepared to do.”
Holli Powitzky can be reached at email@example.com.