Wednesday, January 14, 2009

IDS Article...Students Focus On Finding Secure Jobs

I've mentioned before that I am a writer/columnist for the Indiana Daily Student and Assistant Editor for INside Magazine. I will be posting some of the articles I write as they come out. I will only post the ones that I feel are interesting, informative and helpful to the reader. To see everything I've written go to and search my name. Here's my first article I'm posting. Enjoy.

With the unstable economy of today, students stress about the dire possibilities of not being able to land a job after graduation. Backup plans that were never thought to be used are now shifting to the forefront of students’ minds. For many, the options are slim, but a few students have found ways around the economy.

Director of IU’s Career Development Center Patrick Donahue said there’s no need for students to panic or to start taking drastic measures, such as changing majors.

“Students need to look at the job market in the future, not just now,” Donahue said. “They should think about what careers they want.”

Donahue said students need to consider that a major might not necessarily mean that they’ll have a career in that field. He said he noticed the areas of work hurt most by the economy are financial services, retail and construction, while the areas on the rise are accounting and health care.

“The baby-boomer population is getting older, and there is greater need for stronger health care,” Donahue said. “This is one of the reasons why nurses, pharmacists and physician assistants are now in high demand.”

Matt Smith is a senior and double major in criminal justice and sociology from Mooresville, Ind., and while many of his peers within his two majors are worried about their post-graduation plans, his situation is a little bit different.

“I’m in the Air Force ROTC,” Smith said. “So after I graduate I’ll be commissioned to the Air Force.”

Smith specializes in space and missiles and has noticed many other students joining the ROTC out of fear of not having a job after graduation.

“The military guarantees a job,” Smith said. “We usually have about 45 to 47 people joining the program each year, and this year we’ve had 60. It’s definitely due to the economy. Even first-year law students have been going into ROTC in case being a lawyer doesn’t work out.”

While the military might not be for everyone, there are still other economy-proof alternatives and reasons for current and future students to have hope.

Coordinator of Exploratory Student Resources Tom Kenyon said the best alternative option for students would be to attend graduate school, but he still encourages students to do what they like.

“I’d tell freshmen and sophomores to choose a major they find most interesting despite what they feel like will get them a job in the future,” Kenyon said. “Think about what it is you enjoy and your interests. Think about what matches your aptitude and skills.”

Kenyon said he believes the failing economy has failed to change what’s important when looking for a job.

“The top three things employers are looking for are grades, leadership and experience, but not necessarily in that order,” he said, adding that internships, overseas study, volunteer work and extracurricular activities all combine to make for a well-rounded candidate.


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