Four years of late night study sessions and final exams ends this weekend for spring graduates at Baylor University.
2,000 students will walk across the stage at the Ferrell Center to claim their hard-earned diploma. This year, there is a silver lining in the tough job market for these grads.
New graduate hiring has spiked for the first time in about four years. Hiring is expected to be up about 20 percent in nearly all fields.
That is welcomed news for the Baylor students graduating in what has been a tumultuous time to land a job.
These two graduation days have 2,000 graduates savoring their farewell to four years of student status. For those graduates moving immediately from the classroom to careers, the word is relief! Nursing graduate, Ashley Schott says, "It definitely takes the edge off of graduating, because I have one less thing to worry about."
Schott easily found a job in the demanding healthcare industry. That is just one of the growing fields Baylor University's Career Services Executive Director, Kevin Nall, encourages. "There's also banking, more business-oriented, business service types of opportunities like accounting, financial institutions."
Engineering and technology jobs are also on the increase, lumped into the 20 percent jump in projected hiring for the class of 2011. "This year, particularly this spring, is really when we've seen probably one of the best increases in probably the last three or four years," says Nall.
In spite of the increase, one in four Baylor grads has yet to land a job. That includes nursing graduate, Renee Mehlmann. "No, not right now," she says, "but soon, hopefully."
The reasons are different: a stagnant career field, employer timing around graduation and for some - more school. Biology graduate, Prince Adotama is headed to medical school to become a cardiologist. "Four years for medical school and anywhere from three to eight years for residency," he says.
With or without a nailed-down job, these graduates say they are optimistic and ready to turn their diplomas into workforce dollars. "It's a good feeling to know that I have a job set up," says Schott, "and I won't have to worry about not using my degree."
The biggest drop in hiring is for government jobs. They are down 25 percent at local, state and federal levels.
One more career tip from the experts: find a job that caters to the baby boomer population. That can include healthcare, financial planning and travel.