Jobs outlook good for May grads

UWEC still seeing high percentage of placements

Heidke

Photo by BILL HOEPNER

Heidke

Story by Glen Olson, Chief Copy Editor

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Good news for May graduates: the number of businesses hiring keeps climbing, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

The NACE’s recent Job Outlook 2015 survey shows that hiring is now up 9.6 percent for 2015 graduates compared to their 2014 counterparts.

Staci Heidtke, associate director of Career Services at UW-Eau Claire, said hiring has been increasing since a dip around 2008.

She said last year, 94 percent of UW-Eau Claire graduates found a career in their field or were in graduate studies last year, according to the 2012-13 survey by Career Services.

The survey of graduates will be conducted towards the end of the year for 2014 graduates.

Heidtke said more businesses have visited campus this year, and participated in campus career fairs and on-campus interviews.

“It is important for employers to be exposed to our campus,” Heidtke said. “And know that we have high quality education and we also have a lot of real world experiences that we ask students to take part in.”

According to the NACE survey, 55.9 percent of businesses are increasing their workforce this spring, up from 48.6 percent a year ago.

The projected increases in hiring will fuel company growth and replace retirees, according to NACE.

The survey respondents said graduates in business, engineering, computer and information sciences and math and sciences are some of the most in-demand bachelor degrees.

Finance, accounting and computer science are most sought-after by employers.

Alyssa Kohls, Junior nursing student, said she has heard that the chances of getting a job in her field are good right now.

“They are saying there should be plenty of nursing positions opening,” Kohls said. “Based off the baby boomers retiring.”

With some graduates hitting a generational jackpot for jobs, Heidtke said one of the most important concentrations for recent grads should be networking and maintaining relationships with employers.

She said many jobs aren’t posted, and instead are found by connecting with friends, alumni and the industry professionals.

Heidtke said that in the eight years she has worked here there has also been a growing interest in planning and thinking about post-graduate jobs long before a student graduates.

She said that as early as when they are looking at the school, students and parents are asking about the universities record with job placement.

“It’s been really great to see that since 2010, the last 4 or 5 years, we’ve continued to have growth,” Heidtke said. “I like that there’s more interest in that.”

Finance, accounting and computer science are most sought-after by employers.

Alyssa Kohls, junior nursing student, said she heard the chances of getting a job in her field are good right now.

“They are saying there should be plenty of nursing positions opening,” Kohls said. “Based off the baby boomers retiring.”

With some graduates hitting a generational jackpot for jobs, Heidtke said one of the most important concentrations for recent grads should be networking and maintaining relationships with employers.

She said many jobs aren’t posted, and instead are found by connecting with friends, alumni and industry professionals.

Heidtke said in the eight years she has worked here, there has also been a growing interest in planning and thinking about post-graduate jobs long before a student graduates.

She said as early as when they are looking at the school, students and parents are asking about the university’s record with job placement.

“It’s been really great to see that since 2010, the last 4 or 5 years, we’ve continued to have growth,” Heidtke said. “I like that there’s more interest in that.”

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