You don’t have to pick up a newspaper to know that both the job market and the economy are suffering tremendously right now.
We have all witnessed this harsh reality through a friend or relative who has recently been laid off or who is coming up empty in a job search.
This climate dims the hopes of upcoming Temple graduates, and makes any job search undeniably tougher.
Surveys from colleges and employers estimate that this year companies plan to hire 36 percent fewer college seniors.
And economists predict that the unemployment rate will rise significantly.
Yet Temple’s Career Development Services department (CDS) has failed to neutralize these conditions and attract companies as capably as other colleges and universities have across the country.
A few weeks ago, I attended a CDS orientation that taught graduating seniors about the on-campus recruiting process and gave them a better understanding of online recruiting websites like Monstertrak.com.
Being familiar with these processes, I attended the orientation to find an explanation for the drop-off in the quantity and quality of available jobs.
I had hoped to hear that there was a vast array of companies participating in on-campus recruiting this year, and that CDS simply hadn’t gotten around to posting all of the available positions on its website.
Unfortunately, I learned that the 18 or so mid-level positions already on the website were the complete list, and that CDS didn’t have any more positions to post.
When put in perspective, during brutal economic conditions 18 available positions seems respectable.
Yet when compared to the jobs being offered at other schools, it looks pitiful.
Having close friends at Rutgers University, the University of Massachusetts and Arizona State University, I was astonished to hear of the many job opportunities offered through their respective career services departments.
Understanding that sometimes people, my friends included, exaggerate the truth, I contacted each school’s career services department to gain access to their on-campus recruiting websites.
Not only was I surprised that my friends were telling the truth, but I was shocked to learn that hundreds of world-renowned companies were recruiting at their schools.
From Johnson & Johnson to Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, companies offering top level, high-paying jobs were participating in various on-campus recruiting programs at each of these schools.
This news also proved to be very disappointing.
In most college rankings, Temple ranks with or above the schools of my friends, and the Philadelphia region supposedly offers a stronger job market than other locations.
Therefore, the root of the problem is not our school rank or our location, but a lack of effort by CDS.
I do not doubt CDS’ effectiveness. I am an example of the tremendous support they give Temple students, as they helped me obtain an internship this past summer.
What I do doubt, however, is CDS’s ability to lure top companies with top jobs to participate in on-campus recruiting.
Although amazing job opportunities are seemingly hard to find, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
It isn’t fair for CDS to deny Temple students these opportunities and just take what it gets.
CDS must take the initiative to attract these companies to our campus, and allow us to have the same opportunities that other colleges offer their students.
It would make our job searches a lot easier.
Asher K. Ailey can be reached at