Students snatch jobs post college

The day has finally come. You have studied your brains out for so many years all for this precious moment – your graduation day. But what happens after the family photographs and that highly awaited diploma arrives in the mail?

I’m quite sure everyone knows that finding a job these days is like trying to find a drop of water in a barren desert, but what can we expect the job market to look like for the this fall graduating class?

Coming from a previous economic crisis, it’s good news to hear that employment across the nation is expanding and has definitely improved from last year, but by how much? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between October 2012 and October 2013, the number of employed graduating college students increased from 47,242 to 47,472. This number makes me wonder how the hiring process for fall 2012’s class went.

Julian Wood, a fall 2012 Florida A&M graduate from Washington who studied psychology, said he was able to find a job, but it was not the one he wanted.

“It wasn’t too difficult for me to find employment,” Wood said. “My only struggle, I would say, was finding employment in my field of study because of the demand for high experience.”

So what can be done to make sure that you get picked out of the thousands of graduates across the country?

Mondestin Derelus, a graduating nursing student from Haiti, has nursing job offers lined up already. He said student organizations can help when it comes to getting a job.

“My recommendation is to join honor societies because they show people who you are,” Derelus said.  “Always try to communicate with hiring managers while you are in school. That way you can stay in their mind.”

It’s important we understand that our search for work begins while still in the classroom. Every opportunity that arises should be grasped, and we should always be on the lookout for strong résumébuilders. Employers are no longer looking for just a degree and a high grade point average, but also experience in the field. It’s important to get as many internships as you can. Another tip would be to pursue graduate studies.

Obtaining your master’s and doctorate show you have a wealth of experience and that your knowledge of the field is higher than someone with just a bachelor’s. If you look in the right places, you will even find employers who are willing to pay off your student loans, such as Derelus’ potential employer, which offered to pay off 80 percent.

In short, opportunities are everywhere, and if you want to be seen above the rest, it’s important that you do all that you can to build connections now as a college student. If you want to get into that office space or workplace of your dreams, you must find as many opportunities to gain experience as possible.