CPPC says job market is looking up

Career Fest kicks off today, and seniors preparing their resumes and interview skills should know that job prospects for graduates with bachelor degrees should improve this year.

According to a survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers expect to hire about 13.5 percent more students this year than in 2010 overall and 22.5 percent more in the western region of the country.

Decisions · Kathryn Jacobsen, a junior majoring in political science, looks at some materials at the Career Planning and Placement Center. - Alex Dealy | Daily Trojan

“We’ve had an increase in our fall on-campus recruiting this year,” said Lori Shreve Blake, director of Alumni and Student Career Services at the Career Planning and Placement Center. “For our graduates this year, we are characterizing the job market for recent graduates as good. Last year, we characterized the market as fair, but the economy is improving for us and there are jobs out there.”

Angie Sabido-Wood, director of Employer Relations and Research for CPPC, also said there seemed to be more recruiters with a larger number of positions to fill, compared to last year.

“The job offers that our advisers are seeing that students are coming in with are better as well,” Wood said. “We’re seeing signing bonuses, which we haven’t seen in a while. Last year things slumped a little and things are starting to look better.”

Wood also said USC didn’t experience as much of a recruiting drop as other campuses in the area.

“I don’t think we ever saw the drop in numbers [that they did],” she said. “We were still having successful career fairs but they weren’t experiencing as many recruiters coming to their campuses.”

In addition to USC’s high academic ratings — U.S. News & World Report ranks USC 23rd in the nation — the Trojan family is a factor for students getting jobs, according to Wood.

“We are lucky that we have such a tight network of family and friends at USC,” Wood said. “Obviously there are many factors. We have a very strong Trojan family and that does help our students, especially in Southern California.”

Alisa Scannell, a senior majoring in public policy, management and planning, said she feels confident about getting a job with a USC degree.

“One time I saw a new [real estate] developer looking for an intern on Craigslist and I e-mailed him. He e-mailed me back and told me he was also a USC graduate,” Scannell said. “I definitely feel like the fact that I went to USC helped get me that interview.”

As promising at the recruiting numbers are, Dr. Donald E Yett, professor of economics, advised students to take any future predictions with a grain of salt.

“Recoveries from big recession take a lot time,” he said. “California has had a higher unemployment rate than other areas in the country and there really is very, very little statistical evidence on changes in the markets for graduates in California recently.”