Strong job market fails to employ GW graduates

GW students are failing to benefit significantly from a national rise in average salaries and rates of employment, a GW Career Center official said last week.

A recent Jobtrak survey shows a 40-percent increase in job postings aimed at college graduates since last year. The study also shows the average starting salary for recent graduates is now $35,881, up $255 from salaries in June. The study attributes the increase in jobs to the nation’s booming economy.

But GW students have not experienced a significant boost in employment options or salaries, said Jennifer Seile, communications coordinator for the GW Career Center.

The employment rate for GW students remained fairly stagnant for the past few years, Seile said. She said she has seen no significant change in the number of students seeking employment after graduation or the number of job offers available to students.

Diego McDonald, a senior majoring in business with concentrations in finance, international business and marketing, is searching for a job.

A lot of people want experience for better-paying jobs, McDonald said.

McDonald said he is working full time as a program manager for finance at a non-profit organization. He is searching for a job in investment banking, and he said his work experience is making him a more competitive applicant in the job market. McDonald said the job search has been positive for him so far.

About two percent of last year’s graduates had a difficult time finding jobs after graduation. Seile said some graduating students may have a hard time finding a job if they do not have a clear career path, are looking for a specific job or hold a major in low demand for employers.

People who are willing to go outside of their specific majors and their specific field of study might have a lot more options, Seile said.

Seile said one of the most important factors that employers look for is skills students gain during their college years. She said the most important of these skills were computer and communication abilities.

Seile said many employers reported they were impressed at how prepared GW students were to perform in the workplace. Seile cited GW’s location in Washington, D.C., and that about 80 percent of the GW student body participates in some sort of employment experience – a part-time job or an internship – before graduation.

About 71 percent of students in GW’s 1998 graduating class entered full-time employment, while another 2 percent were still seeking employment after graduation, according to Career Center statistics. About 25 percent of the class went on to graduate school, and the remaining two percent pursued travel or family-related activities, according to the statistics.

Senior Jade-Snow Moy said she feels many seniors who will graduate this year are still unsure of their post-graduate plans. She said many seniors are just trying to enjoy their last semester of college before embarking on a job search, while others plan to jump into graduate school.

Many people are confused right now, Moy said.

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