2007 graduates to enter larger job market

Students graduating from GW this year can expect more job opportunities than the class of 2006, a report recently found.

Companies are hiring more college graduates because of a stronger economy, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. It found that employers expect to hire 17.4 percent more new college graduates in the 2006 to 2007 employment cycle compared to last year.

“Most companies said this increase is occurring due to the economy,” said Andrea Koncz, career information manager for the association. “Many companies are experiencing more demand for service, and they are expecting a lot of retirements in the near future.”

Koncz said the economy will make the job market more welcoming to recent college graduates.

“Many colleges have told NACE that there are more students with more than one job offer, and they are able to choose between them. College graduates now have more options than they did before,” she said.

GW economics professor Anthony Yezer agreed with Koncz that the landscape is improving.

“In terms of the business cycle, this is a good time to be looking for employment,” Yezer said. The professor added, however, that some degrees will be more marketable than others.

Karen Kinslow, director and principal recruiter for college graduates at UMS Group, a small consulting firm in New Jersey, said she has seen the change in the recruiting process firsthand. She said her company has recently hired a greater number of young adults than in the past.

Despite the opening job market, Kinslow said her company still looks for applicants who stand out in the application process.

“This means researching the company you are interviewing with and saying how you did this in this class applies to what you would be doing in your job,” she advised. “Even if it is not a direct match, employers know you have done your homework.”

James Murray, interim assistant director of GW’s Career Center, said his office has noticed the trend as well. He said the survey’s results reflect the rising national need for workers and the growth in the stock market.

Murray said college graduates are on average seeing higher salaries than in the past. There has also been an increase in employer participation with the 2005 and 2006 career fairs receiving the maximum number of employers, he added.

“I think this is a pretty good indicator, and if more employers are coming to campus, then students are going to take advantage of that. If there are more employers, then there are going to be more job offers,” he said.

Murray cautioned graduates not to feel overly confident going into their job search. He said there has been a constant fluctuation in the job market since 1991 and that good job searching is important regardless of the market.

“Students shouldn’t act differently in their job search … A job-seeker in 2007 should do all the same things a job seeker in 2006 did,” he said. “They may find more opportunities and more diverse offers, but graduates should still act the same.”

Senior Aaron Connelly said he hopes the improving job market will help his hunt for work in the national security field.

“I know job opportunities in the national security sector have increased,” Connelly said. “The state department is hiring more than they did in the 90s.”

Junior Elliot Gillerman said he has noticed the increase in demand for students but is heeding the Career Center’s advice. He said he does not expect to conduct his job search differently because of the favorable job market.

“I feel that students at GW start off on a better foot than other students already, with all the internship opportunities we have right here in D.C.,” he said. “GW students have the advantage because these internships are often what lead to career opportunities after college.”

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