Despite rise in unemployment, grads still find jobs

Despite increasing unemployment nationwide, TCU graduates are still finding jobs, a Career Services official said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported last week the nationwide unemployment rate increased from 5.7 to 6.1 percent in August.

Kimshi Hickman, associate director of employee relations, said there is a job market for college graduates despite the current economic situation.

“Typically, even if the economy is having some problems, corporations will still hire new college grads,” Hickman said. “That’s simply because it’s still fiscally better for them to hire a new college grad rather than keep someone who has been there for twenty years at triple the salary.”

In the employment situation summary released Sept. 5, the Department of Labor reported that employment declined in manufacturing by 61,000 jobs and in employment services by 53,000 jobs in August. The report showed, however, a rise in health care and mining jobs. Health care added 367,000 jobs in the past year.

The rise in health care employment is a continuing trend, Hickman said.

“In the United States, Americans are aging and there are just increased health care needs all the way around,” Hickman said. “Our nurses are in high demand from our TCU program – they are in very high demand.”

Employees who work at hospitals are almost guaranteed an interview for a position as a graduate nurse, said Ashlee Wolfe, a senior nursing major at TCU. This is due to a “tremendous need” for nurses, she said.

Hickman said other degrees at TCU have experienced similar trends to nursing, specifically degrees in technology and energy. She said students can still find jobs as long as they start their search early. The students who have difficulty finding jobs are those who begin their job search too late or after graduation, she said.

“We get e-mails and phone calls everyday from employers who have jobs to post and are looking at TCU graduates,” Hickman said.

LaTanya Johns, director of the graduate career service center, said finding a job has been more difficult for students graduating with a master’s degree. Johns said students pursuing a master’s degree have higher salary expectations after graduation than students pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

“We are definitely trying to help students set realistic goals,” Johns said.

Johns said landing a job does not depend as much on the students’ field of study as it does on students being flexible about job opportunities. Students have to look for opportunities that lie in the smaller companies, Johns said.