Job market for graduates continues to grow during past 2 years as economy increases

Syracuse University seniors searching for jobs have a reason to feel a little more optimistic this year.

The job market is slowly improving compared to the last two years, said Michael Cahill, director of SU Career Services. After the economic downturn, it takes a little while for employers to begin hiring again, he said.

‘I think we’re seeing the economy get enough life, and companies are starting to move forward,’ Cahill said.

About 40 percent of graduating seniors usually obtain jobs before graduating, but Cahill said he did not have specific job placement numbers for the graduating Class of 2011. Thirty-nine percent of the graduating Class of 2010 secured jobs before graduation, he said.

‘There are always jobs out there,’ Cahill said. ‘It’s all about having that effectiveness in a job search.’

Cahill said he expects the percent of seniors who have secured a job to be similar this year, but the numbers depend on the fields the students intend to work in. Students at the professional schools at SU have the highest percentage of obtaining jobs near graduation because they prepare for specific careers, Cahill said.

The percentage of employment tends to be higher for students in schools such as the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, the School of Information Studies and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, he said. Cahill said students in the College of Arts and Sciences are more likely to attend graduate school.

Budgets and funding reductions have caused government and education jobs to lag behind other fields, Cahill said. But jobs involving technology and manufacturing are doing well because of frequent advancements, Cahill said.

Many students obtain positions through personal contact, internships, or networking and previous jobs, according to the SU Class of 2010 Placement Report from Career Services. The most effective method graduates secure jobs with continues to be developing their own employment leads, according to the report.

Mike McHugh, a senior civil engineering major, said he plans to intern as a construction inspector for the New York State Department of Transportation during the summer. He uses OrangeLink, SU’s online job and internship database, but said there is a lot of self-reliance for students when looking for jobs or internships.

‘When your resume’s on OrangeLink you can hopefully get interviews, but it’s not like people are immediately coming to you,’ McHugh said.

McHugh said he hopes to take the first step toward an engineering license by passing the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. He said he is interested in project management as opposed to direct engineering work for his future career.

McHugh said younger students should get involved in many different activities because it will help them in the long run.

‘The more people you know here, the more people you know when you leave,’ McHugh said.

After graduation, Sundus Mian, a senior biology major, said she plans to take a gap year and will spend time applying to medical school this summer.

She said she hopes to stay in the Syracuse area for now, conducting research at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University or taking classes to be an emergency medical technician during the summer. The biology department has helped Mian find opportunities for research in the area, she said.

In the future, Mian would like to become a doctor and possibly work with Doctors Without Borders. She said younger students should take advantage of things in front of them.

‘When you have an opportunity,’ Mian said, ‘seize it right then.’


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