Local News

Transition From College Life To Finding Job Can Be Tricky

Posted May 13, 2005 7:06 a.m. EDT

— Recent reports show companies will be hiring more college graduates this year than they did last year, but does a college degree guarantee you'll get a job?

Every day, Greg Chase, a graduate of North Carolina State University, mows his way from one lawn to another. However, his current job is way outside his field of study.

"It's just something to do right now to help out," said Greg Chase, a graduate of North Carolina State University. "I'd primarily like to get into marketing, advertising."

Chase has a degree in business communications. Now, a year after graduation, Chase is still on the hunt for the perfect job.

"I've been going to newspapers. I'm trying all the career Web sites, even cold calling, asking, 'Are you hiring,'" Chase said.

The slow economy in recent years made the transition from the college campus to the corporate world a tricky one. But this year's graduates should find the job outlook looks bright.

"Based on who came to career fairs, who came to recruiting, we feel pretty good that there are lots of jobs out there," said Johnnie Sutherland, director at N.C. State's Career Center.

Sutherland said a student's major has a lot to do with marketability. He said this year's top jobs are in the fields of accounting, biotechnology and computer sciences.

Health care is another popular field. The Labor Department reports the industry added close to 350,000 new jobs last year. Sutherland said the key to landing one of those jobs is starting early.

Brandon Brown said he is not wasting time. The college junior is building his resume. He is looking for ways to ensure a permanent post-graduation position.

"Selling yourself on paper is what it's all about," he said. "I'm a confident person and I think things will work out for the best."

"Of all my friends who graduated in the last two to three years, very few have gotten jobs in their degree or field they want to go into," Chase said.

According to a recent study, 42 percent of the companies questioned said they plan to hire more college graduates for full-time jobs than they did last year. Fifty percent of the companies said they will also offer this year's grads higher salaries than previous graduates.