Job prospects improve for UofSC December grads
By Megan Sexton, 803-777-1421
The newest University of South Carolina graduates have reason to be optimistic about their employment chances, as hiring numbers continue to improve, according to the USC Career Center.
Job postings for USC students are up 23 percent this year compared to 2012, and were up 53 percent for the month of November this year compared to the previous year. The job opportunities remain strongest in the same areas as the past few years -- business, engineering and computer science, said Tom Halasz, director of USC’s Career Center. With the economic recovery, more positions also are available in customer service, sales, marketing, logistics and healthcare, he said.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), technical majors, especially those in engineering, head the list of top-paid majors for the class of 2013. The Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University reported strong demand for all college degrees in 2013-14, including accounting, marketing, computer science, engineering, human resources and public relations.
“The continuing significant increases in job postings with the Career Center are encouraging. In our conversations with employers, there is a clear commitment to maintain a high level of recruiting of University of South Carolina students. These are employers who have recruited at USC for many years as well as employers relocating to South Carolina and the Southeast,” Halasz said.
“Despite the high level of recruiting occurring, candidates will still face a very competitive job market. Employers are maintaining very selective hiring, placing great emphasis on experience level of candidates, especially internship and co-op experience,” he said. “USC students have adapted to the challenge of the very competitive job market by acquiring the skills and experiences employers demand.”
The 2,702 graduates who earned their degrees from eight USC campuses Dec. 16 have seen much higher turnouts by employers at Carolina’s fall job fairs, Halasz said. Employer registration at the fall non-technical fair (Career Fest) increased by 30 percent, while the Science, Engineering and Technology Fair (SET) increased by 3 percent. For the upcoming semester, registration for spring SET is running 32 percent ahead of last spring, while Career Fest is up nearly 9 percent.
“The attendance at our career fairs is a very good indicator, along with the job postings, of the strong interest employers have in hiring our students,” Halasz said.
Among the organizations currently registered for the Career Fest are Colonial Life, First Citizens Bank, PepsiCo, Sodexo, Peace Corp and Vanguard. Companies registered for the SET event include Blackbaud, Blue Acorn, BlueCross BlueShield, Continental, Milliken and Shaw Industries. Halasz expects nearly 200 companies will attend the spring career fairs, scheduled for Jan. 29.
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