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CSU graduates face tough economic climate

Bachelor’s degree no longer the cutting edge to a decent job, rather a basic requirement

December 1, 2011

BY Deon Broyles

We live in a tough, competitive job market that has begun to overlook applicants with just a four-year degree. In today’s economy, a bachelor’s degree is no longer the cutting edge to a decent job, but rather a basic requirement.

“College degrees give you options,” said Marcelyn Woodard, a CSU Ph.D student. “I believe in doing internships and connecting yourself with the organization for that career path. If you are not doing those two things, minimally, don’t expect to find a job in this type of market.”

According to economic researchers, our economy is recovering from its most recent economic recession at a very slow rate. Some of the fastest growing industries since the 2009 recession include: the health care & nursing industry, the information technology & service industry, the education industry, the accounting industry, the retail, fashion & grocery industry and the management industry.

With a current overall decrease in construction jobs and frequent company downsizing, America’s job market has become tougher than ever, with employers turning more and more to applicants with prior job related experience.

Two core skills are becoming absolutely essential for successful job placement after graduation.

“Periodically, I receive e-mail request for internships,” said Dr. Guowei Jian, a CSU professor and communication management internship director.

“A lot of the e-mails say we need quality students who are able to write competently and who are able to speak in public competently. I think those are the two core skills that I often see in the e-mails I receive from employers.”

According to Voult.com, a leading, online career management and job seeking firm, there are 10 current, basic job market trends that job seekers should be aware of.

These trends include: employees are asked to do more with less, big bonuses are out while negotiations are in, workers are being held back by bad housing market, temporary jobs are surging, a college education is no longer a guarantee for a job, the workforce is aging rapidly because retirement is frequently placed on hold, the finance industry has been showing signs of trouble.

Internships have become increasingly crucial, lawyers may struggle to find jobs and consolidation by the IT industry could squeeze workers.

“It can be very difficult to find a job if you are not ready,” said John B. Scanlan, CSU’s assistant director of the career service center.

“That is what we try to do, to get people prepared for that search and to get them started early.”

With large employment opportunities like Medical Mart and casino gambling coming to Cleveland, the job outlook in the downtown area is blooming.

CSU’s director of career services, Yolanda Burt, explained that Cleveland

State’s job placement rate is above last year’s 24.4 percent national average.

“We conducted a graduation survey in 2011 for those that graduated last May, and 47 percent reported that they were working a job related to their major,” she said.

According to Burt, internships and co-op programs are critical because they allow students to gain real world experience and to hone people skills and technical skills before employment.

“A student that has come through our university system and career services is a very well prepared student,” she said.

According to Burt, employers are looking for open-minded students who have a strong initiative to succeed, a strong sense of responsibility and real world job related experiences. The career service center offers soft skill development, mock interviews, resume & cover letter development and on-campus job listings.

The center also hosts several career related courses which include; CSC 121, for career orientation; CSC 224, for career exploration; CSC 300, for co-op field experience; CSC 321, for employment strategies; and CSC 400, for co-op field experience.

For more information on what the career services center can do for you, please visit their website at http://www.csuohio.edu/offices/career/.