Commencement 2017

SU students graduating this semester enter a workforce with increasing job prospects

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Students graduating face better job prospects this year, Syracuse University faculty say.

College students graduating in 2017 seem to be entering a workforce with an increasing amount of job prospects.

According to the results of Michigan State University’s 46th annual Recruiting Trends survey, 83 percent of employers described the job market for graduates as “good” to “excellent.” This displays an increase of 3 percentage points when compared to last year, and is the seventh consecutive year of growth.

The same high potential for employment is reflected in the students who are graduating from Syracuse University this semester.

Kelly Barnett, director of the Tina Press and David Rubin Career Development Center at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, said the outlook is good for students this year. She explained that after the economy hit a low point in 2009, there has been a slow and steady increase in the employment rate for students.

The communications industry, Barnett said, hires later than most other industries, and primarily on an as-needed basis. Generally, 25 to 30 percent of the graduating class has a job by graduation, but the numbers seem to have increased slightly this year, she added.

For students obtaining degrees in majors such as television, radio and film, Barnett said moving to locations such as Los Angeles makes them more viable candidates for employment. However, she added for other majors such as public relations, advertising or broadcast and digital journalism, students will usually have interviews leading up to graduation and may be in the final rounds of interviewing when they graduate.

There are certain companies that also make significant employment efforts at SU and have strong relationships with colleges across campus. Barnett mentioned that Newhouse has close ties with NBCUniversal.

Christopher Perrello, director of career services at the School of Information Studies, said Ernst and Young, a business management consultant, has “one of the biggest employment pushes” at the iSchool. He added that many students from the college also end up working at Fidelity Investments and IBM.

In their list, The Best Job Markets for 2017 College Grads, ZipRecruiter includes cities such as Minneapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Seattle; Raleigh, North Carolina and San Francisco based on numbers of entry level jobs for recent graduates, strength of the economy and unemployment levels.

Perrello said students from the iSchool primarily want to find employment in “hot, urban, up and coming IT areas,” listing areas such as the Silicon Valley, New York City, Austin and Raleigh as some examples.

The information science industry is constantly changing, Perrello said. There are different jobs available every year, but in general, about 93 percent of students have jobs within six months of graduating.

Job placement has “ticked upward for the last five years with the exception of 2016,” Perrello said. In 2016, the school saw a very slight decrease of about one to two percentage points.

However, because of the current political climate and restriction of sponsorships for foreign workers, international students may have a little more trouble, he noted.

All of the undergraduate students in the iSchool are enrolled in the same major, information management and technology, Perrello explained. Because the major is so broad, it can sometimes become problematic for students if they’d rather pursue consulting or technical repairs rather than coding and website design.

“Students really, really have to have an idea of where they want to go before they walk across that stage,” Perrello said.

For students graduating from the SU College of Law, some of the most intense preparation for their future begins after commencement, when they start preparing for the bar exam. Kim Wolf Price, assistant dean and director of career services for the College of Law, said the exams are held in the last week of July and, depending on the state, results are available some time in the fall.

“Passing the bar exam is the first milestone to employment in the legal profession and is critical to the employment process,” Wolf Price said in an email.

As general advice to all graduating students, job hunting needs to be a proactive process, Barnett said. There’s so much competition that “you can’t passively job hunt,” she added.

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