Recent graduates run against struggling economy, job market

As the economy continues to worsen, job prospects have become increasingly thin for college graduates, as displayed through a recent survey conducted by the Career Services office.

According to the survey given to Geneseo's Class of 2007, more of these students entered either a graduate or higher education program than in years past. Full-time employment decreased 3 percent for business majors, education majors and communicative disorders majors. Many students who are only a few exams away from the real world have limited job prospects lined up.

Chris Marro, a fifth-year geography major, said that even though he's graduating this semester, he doesn't have a job waiting for him that involves geography.

"I'm going back home to work at a Taekwondo studio," Marro said. "After that I'm trying to move to Italy to teach English."

Marro also said that he's talked to several friends who have been struggling to find meaningful employment themselves.

"I have friends who graduated last spring who have just found jobs and a lot of them have said they're working for less money than they planned."

Senior Kelley Rehkugler expressed concern about her future prospects as well: "I haven't really done much to prepare for a job after college. With the job market and the bad economy I'm still thinking about staying in school and earning a master's degree before I try and start a career."

According to Jerry Wrubel, the director of Career Services, 74 percent of the Class of 2007 have found jobs within three months of graduation that relate to their major.

"I'm not sure [it's something] anyone can accurately predict, but nothing that I have seen thus far in the news or heard from my professional associations and colleagues suggests a quick turnaround in the job market," he said.

Wrubel offered several tips for graduates worried about their futures, including identifying what skills they have to offer employers, developing some tentative geographic preferences, implementing multiple search strategies and being persistent, patient and positive.

"It's simply not enough to say I just want a good job and I'll go anywhere or there's nothing on Monster today, so I'll check again tomorrow," he said. "The job search is much more strategic than that and employers, more than ever, expect candidates to be self-aware, prepared and focused. It would also be wise and perhaps necessary for this year's graduates to realize that it may take longer to secure the type of position they desire and that it's a good idea to identify intermediate steps or alternatives."