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Morning Sun
  • Job market improving for grads

  • Pittsburg State’s Career Services office won’t know the exact details of how many graduates will move from college to jobs until after graduation, and even for months to come.

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  • Pittsburg State’s Career Services office won’t know the exact details of how many graduates will move from college to jobs until after graduation, and even for months to come.
    But that doesn’t mean there’s not some evidence that the job market, which has had some tough years lately, is beginning to turn around for new graduates. Some of that evidence includes the questions that students are asking.
    “Certainly, we’re hearing from students saying that they have been finding multiple job offers. That is something that has not been the case the last couple of years,” said Mindy Cloninger, PSU Career Services director. “It used to be that students would be getting a job offer, and they’d take it. This year, we’re getting more questions about salary negotiations and making choices between offers.”
    There have been a few success stories. Brendan Young, an engineering technology student graduating on Friday, will leave the confines of Kansas for Texas. He credited Career Services for helping him take a job offer in Houston with National Oilwell Varco, a company with more than 800 manufacturing, sales and service centers throughout the world.
    While Young is just one person and the questions are largely anecdotal, there are a few numbers that Cloninger can point to that show just how much the economy is improving.
    “It’s definitely improving,” Cloninger said. “One thing I can tell you is that employer attendance at the career fairs and Teacher Interview Day is up. The Spring Career Day was up 10 percent. The Teacher Interview Day was up 30 percent. I feel teaching is a great indicator of the economy. I was pleased to see more school districts are hiring.”
    Cloninger said the pace is not quite what it was before the recession, but not many industries have quite recovered. Pittsburg State, though, has a number of tools to help set a student apart from the crowd. That includes Gorillas4Hire, Resume Builder and more.
    The good news, Cloninger said, is that it’s not just teaching or one particular field that has begun to rebound. It’s pretty much across the board.
    “All of the student majors, from accounting to auto tech, and all the traditional majors are faring well with job opportunities,” she said. “It makes the case apparent to us that we are seeing more companies across industries reaching out to students. We’re happy about that.”
    Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 140.
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