College Grads Face Uncertain Job Market
The U.S. Department of Labor released its most recent jobs report this morning. Data shows the economy is not rebounding as quickly as originally thought. And with graduation just around the corner for several local colleges, a new wave of workers preparing to enter the job market could be affected.
Unemployment went down in April, according to the Labor Department. That should be good news for the many students graduating this month, but the same report shows that hiring has also slowed.
Nicholas Ragheb is about to complete his graduate studies in music at the University of Texas at Austin. Ragheb says he will be going back to school to pursue a Ph.D. after he graduates this month.
“I mean, in my field in particular there’s never much work – even when the economy is good,” he says. “I guess in the grand scheme of things, things are pretty tough right now.”
Radio-Television-Film student Chris Hunt has a different perspective.
“I’m one of the fortunate few who actually has a job lined up,” Hunt says. “It’s tough for us students. A lot of friends I talked to don’t know what they’re going to be doing. It’s a scary prospect.”
Paul Leverington is the director of career and graduate development at Huston-Tillotson University. He says things are not as grim as they might appear.
“We have seen greater internships and earlier job offers this year to a number of our students than we’ve had in the last couple of years,” Leverington says.
That’s due – in part – to what students are choosing to study, he says. In past years, some students chose a major based on a subject they liked. But in light of the current economy, Leverington says they are more focused on learning specific skills that will help them in the job market.