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Local Tech Jobs Not As Profitable As In Years Past

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RALEIGH, N.C. — It was not long ago that companies were asking for more computer science graduates. They were even taking some bright students directly from high schools. Now many who spent the past four years preparing for lucrative jobs are experiencing the opposite as they prepare to graduate.

Computer science graduates at N.C. State are not being welcomed to the job market with open arms.

"I hear in the halls a lot of kids saying, 'Have you heard anybody that's looking for work?'" said student Charles Brokmann.

In May, 50 out of the 60 graduates had jobs leaving school. By summer, only a third of the graduates had offers. The rest were not even getting interviews.

Ahmed Abdelkhalek graduates in December. Experts say his class will experience the worst job market in the 23 years N.C. State has had a computer science program. He said the competition in North Carolina is tough with all the recent layoffs.

"It hasn't been easy. Employers have looked for persistence, pursuit and experience," he said.

Akhil Bhaskar is one of the few December graduates who has a job lined up. He found one in Richmond, Va. after an offer from Nortel in RTP fell through.

"If you want to work for a big company, yes, it's a problem, but there's enough smaller companies out there that they're still looking for people to hire," he said.

One student saw firsthand how much salaries can drop in a few months. His initial offer went from $52,000 in May to $44,000 by the time he graduated in August. School officials say they will be lucky if one-third of the December graduates get jobs.

School officials also say they believe the worst is over and spring graduates will have a much easier time landing a job.


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