Reality’s Market

Seniors on the job hunt should be prepared to make compromises.

Seniors on the job hunt should be prepared to make compromises.

The countdown begins now: In approximately 15 weeks, Temple will graduate its class of 2010. It is normal for seniors to have some fears about commencement and entering the work force around this time of year, but for the third year in a row, seniors’ fears come face to face with a tough economic reality.

While slightly better than last year, the job outlook remains bleak for seniors graduating in 2010. In the state of Pennsylvania alone, the unemployment rate has reached 8.5 percent, eliminating many of the job opportunities available for young people. Although it is easy to become pessimistic in the current economic climate, it’s important that graduating seniors keep a positive attitude about their futures.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers still plan to hire recent college graduates in numbers, although the rate will be lower than it was in 2009.

But the numbers don’t lie: The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that the unemployment rate has doubled from 5 percent to 10 percent since the start of the recession in December 2007. As of December 2009, 15.3 million eligible workers remain unable to find jobs in the United States. Furthermore, unskilled minorities and young people have been hit the hardest.

There may not be the same opportunities there were two years ago, but the jobs are out there.

A study released in November 2009 by Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute found that small companies will provide the wealth of jobs for entry-level workers. CERI also reported candidates who can quickly adapt and have vast skill sets will be the most desirable this year.

In general, job candidates will have to be more flexible in 2010. If you are willing to move, the south central, southwest and northwest regions of the country are most likely to hire young workers this year, but graduates will have to accept lower wages. The majority of employers will either not raise or slightly lower starting salary offers.

Rather than blame the recession, graduating seniors should use the next 15 weeks to sharpen their job-hunting skills. Use your network, Temple’s Career Center and other resources to your advantage. No matter the economic climate, employers will not hire simply because the jobs are available. It’s going to take the same hard work to find a job that it did two years ago.

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