Many college graduates entering the job market this spring will still find the employer welcome mat extended, especially those with high-tech degrees or teaching certificates.
According to experts at the University of Colorado at Boulder, more employers currently are seeking graduates with high-tech degrees or teaching certificates than there are graduates to fill the jobs.
"With whatever degree students have, if they have computer knowledge, especially day-to-day computer skills, they are in demand," said Gordon Gray, director of Career Services at CU-Boulder. "Clearly the more sophisticated the computer degree, the brighter the job market."
While high-tech degrees continue to be the most heavily recruited, the number of teaching jobs now available exceeds the number of certified teachers seeking positions, according to Judy Hlawatsch, co-coordinator of the Greater Denver Teacher Fair and CU-Boulder Career Services staff member.
Hiring trends among schools nationwide have changed drastically in the last couple of years, she said.
Some schools are meeting their staffing needs by offering higher salaries to candidates, paying for teachers' educations, hiring earlier than in previous years, offering temporary licensure or employing non-certified teachers, according to Hlawatsch.
Other segments of the current job market are slowing down, however, as evidenced by an unusually high number of last minute no-shows for this year's career fair for graduating students at CU-Boulder. Of 158 employers who signed up to attend the Jan. 26 fair, 15 cancelled at the last minute, according to Gray. All but two of the organizations later reported they did not attend because of corporate downsizing, restructuring and layoffs.
Of the recruiters who did attend the career fair, 109 sought graduates with high-tech degrees like electrical and computer engineering and computer science; 91 were after graduates with business oriented degrees; and 66 were seeking graduates with arts and sciences degrees.
"May graduates will likely find a job market that is not as booming as last year, but it should still be a good market for them," Gray said, adding that even with a strong job market it is still vitally important for students to get off campus and gain work experience while they are in school.
"Internships are the hands-on application of the theories and principles learned in school," Gray said. "They can also act as a way to get your foot in the door."
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, about 55 percent of new hires in 1999-2000 had internship experience.
The career services office at CU-Boulder has 10 career counselors to help students with career planning, resume development, job search letter writing, applying for internships, interviewing skills and access to online job listings.