Saturday, August 24

Job market improves for graduating seniors


There’s hope for graduating seniors.

Employers expect to hire 11.2 percent more graduating seniors
from the Class of 2004 than the Class of 2003, according to the
National Association of Colleges and Employers.

The percentage is not uniform throughout the United States, but
instead ranges in each geographic region and industry. The
Northeast has a 20.9 percent expected increase in hiring ““
the highest of any geographic region ““ while the West only
has an 8.3 percent expected increase.

The interest shown by employers at the UCLA Career Center is
right on track with the national average. As of April 5, the career
center reported an 11 percent increase over the previous year in
terms of on-campus recruiting activities such as career fairs,
career information sessions and on-campus interviews.

“It seems like the economy is picking up,” said
Joyce Haraughty, the center’s employer and corporate
relations manager.

“It’s still really competitive, but I think
it’s just going to get better,” she added.

Haraughty said of the 5,000 employers on BruinView, over 1,000
of these have been added since May 1.

BruinView is an online database where employers post job
offerings. Some of these posts are only accessible to UCLA
students, whereas some are accessible to students from a range of
universities.

The NACE also reported that 51.5 percent of the employers who
responded to their survey planned to hire more new college
graduates this year than last.

The hiring outlook is highest among service-sector employees,
with a projected increase of 16.1 percent over last year.

Manufacturers also predict a large increase in hiring, but
government/nonprofit employers expect a decrease. But the decrease
expected for this year is lower than last year’s
decrease.

Corresponding with the increases in hiring, the NACE also found
that over half of jobs at the bachelor’s degree level
reported salary increases.

The greatest salary increase — up by an average of 10.7 percent
over last year — went to information sciences and systems
students. Computer science students showed a large increase as
well.

Even with increased demand, some students are still facing
unemployment after graduation.

Cynthia Lopez, a fourth-year psychology student, is currently
looking for a job for after graduation.

Lopez plans to apply to graduate school in cognitive psychology
next year, so she wants to work as a research assistant at UCLA
during the upcoming year.

“I want to stay at UCLA, but I understand it’s hard
to find positions, so I’ll definitely look other
places,” Lopez said, adding that she would also be interested
in non-research positions at UCLA.

The willingness of an individual to expand their initial job
search and keep an open mind is key to finding a job, Haraughty
said.

She also noted students do not always take advantage of all the
opportunities available. For example, she said Avon, a manufacturer
of personal care products, recently recruited on campus for a
district sales manager and did not have a full interview schedule
because not enough students signed up.

“I’m not sure if students have decided the job
market is too tough to even apply … but sometimes students do
have an opportunity and don’t follow through with it,”
Haraughty said.

She also recommended students look at small to midsize companies
because “that’s where the jobs will be when the economy
turns around.”

Though some students may be disillusioned with the job search,
others said they had no trouble finding a job because they were
just in the right place at the right time.

“I got really lucky,” said Nolan Hiett, a
fourth-year history student, about his upcoming job. “It just
kind of fell into my lap.”

Hiett will spend the next year working at a law firm in Santa
Monica.

“I’ve worked at the textbook store for four years,
so it’ll be nice to change jobs,” Hiett said.

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