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Local News

May 17, 2013

Area schools: Grads face fierce job hunt

Hundreds of seniors at four area colleges are graduating this month, and college officials said many factors play into their employment success in the world of work ahead.

“Current employment forecasts for graduates range from bleak to bright, so students are encouraged not to be affected by what they hear,” Teresa DiMagno, assistant dean of academic advising and experiential learning at Hartwick College in Oneonta. “Rather, they should use all of the services at their disposal, including career centers, alumni groups, employment agencies, professional organizations, and social media sites.”

Hartwick College and the State University College of Technology at Delhi will have commencement ceremonies May 25. The State University College at Oneonta commencement is Saturday, and the State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill commencement was Saturday, May 11.

Local college officials said internships, experiential learning and specific applied or academic courses are among programs that give their graduates valuable preparation for employment opportunities.

However, new college graduates face a downbeat labor market, the Associated Press reported. The unemployment rate for workers under age 25 with at least a bachelor’s degree has averaged 8.2 percent, compared to 5.4 percent in 2007.

The government’s April jobs report showed a decline in average weekly hours worked, the AP reported, and much of the growth was in predominantly low-wage sectors such as food services and retail trade.

“For all 2013 college graduates, employment prospects and outcomes will depend upon a number of factors, such as the number and kind of positions sought, geographic location, demand, and interview preparation,” DiMagno said in an email. “Other factors include the number and kind of job search methods used and student persistence in seeking and following through on leads.”

At SUNY Oneonta, more than half of seniors participating in a survey indicated they would be looking for work after graduation.

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