Local News

Road ahead could be rough for college grads

Posted March 19, 2009 6:31 p.m. EDT
Updated March 19, 2009 6:58 p.m. EDT

— Jobless rates that are climbing across the nation make for a tough job market for seasoned professionals. College students graduating this spring might also have it rough.

Carol Schroeder, director of North Carolina State University's Career Center, says she's seen a 20 percent decrease in job postings and companies recruiting on campus.

"There was a dramatic change from the end of the fall semester, and it has gotten very, very slow," Schroeder said.

Career counselors are encouraging students to be more prepared and flexible and to start their job searches earlier.

"They need to assume it will take longer because the competition will be more intense," Schroeder said.

Heather Steelman, a senior studying animal science, says she has been looking and that her search has been difficult.

"With the economy being the way it is, a lot of the pharmaceutical companies that I was interested in working with actually aren't hiring anymore because they're consolidating," she said.

The downturn could be a factor in students staying in school longer. Schroder says the university has seen a 21 percent increase in graduate school applications.

Steelman says she considered grad school, but plans to stick with her current job as a veterinary assistant until the job outlook improves.

Schroeder's advice: "Don't give up."