Employment prospects are looking up for graduating seniors after an exceptionally poor job market last year. A recent survey predicted a 5.3 percent increase in hiring — the first to predict an increase in almost two years.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers surveys 800 member companies multiple times a year to see how many college graduates they expect to hire. Andrea Koncz, employment information manager, said the 5.3 percent was calculated after compiling responses.
“The last increase our employer members reported was October of 2008,” Koncz said. “They’ve been predicting decreases ever since then.”
Elia Kacapyr, professor and chair of the economics department at the college, said in March 2008, the United States economy lost 33,000 jobs. In March 2009, the economy lost 753,000, but in March 2010, the economy added 162,000 jobs.
“Prospects for this year’s graduating class are much improved,” he said.
John Fracchia, associate director of the Office of Career Services at Ithaca College, said about 98 percent of graduates from the college find jobs or attend graduate school a year after graduation.
Senior Lindsay Pehmoeller will be attending George Washington University next year to pursue a master’s degree in Middle East Studies. Pehmoeller said she will be looking for jobs to help her pay for her education.
The Northeast is also expected to have the best hiring outlook in the country with a 25 percent increase in hiring, the survey said.
Senior Scott Walker interviewed Monday in New York City with the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. He said he is hoping to be accepted into a one-year training program to work in a division of the company.
If he does not get the position, Walker said he plans to work in retail while applying for other jobs.
“I’ll just get a crappy job and keep applying until I can finally find a real job,” Walker said.
Fracchia said advertising and public relations firms have started to hire more, two fields he views as bellwethers for the rest of the job market. Fracchia said in a bad economy, marketing services are among the first aspects a company will cut back on, so this improvement is a sign the rest of the economy is coming around as well. The New York metro area, being the center of advertising, accounts for some of the Northeast’s especially strong hiring outlook.
Senior Dan Hirsch has been able to secure a full-time job. After interning with Moving Box Studios, a small multimedia company in Ithaca, Hirsch was offered a full-time position after he graduates. Hirsch said he sent between 15 and 20 resumes to media companies including CBS and ESPN but hasn’t heard back from any of them.
Hirsch said he sees Moving Box as a good place to start his media career.
“It’s not the top of the ladder, but I had no illusions that I would be magically going into my dream job after graduating college,” he said
It will be a couple of months until it is known if the job market for college graduates has improved as much as anticipated. But Kacapyr said graduates should still be hopeful.
“Students who are proactive, and even a bit aggressive, find something even in difficult times,” he said.