After College for Upper-classmen University Students

Goals

To determine what near-future college grads are thinking about related to future employment, their current views of potential employers, and best practices for employer recuruiting of college upper-classmen.

Early Findings

There is a lot written about what college seniors are thinking about related to their near-term job outlook, especially the effects the current pandemic continues to make on a very tight job market. In addition, a report published today detailed more than 800,000 women dropped out of the labor-force this past month. In short, most are concerned about job prospects and how the pandemic affects their future.

Near-Future Job Prospects

  • An oft repeated worry is the financial future of current college students. According to a recent WalletHub 2020 College Student Financial survey, approximately 13.3 million undergraduates, or two-thirds of college students said "the coronavirus crisis has changed how they feel about their financial future". Also, "nearly 7 in 10 students believe the pandemic will make it harder for them to get a job."
  • The Hechinger Report explained, "College seniors at four-year schools hoped recruiting fairs and on-campus interviews this spring would help them land a job in the strong market they’d expected to graduate into." Upperclassmen Liz Anderson of St. Lawrence University, in Canton, New York detailed she is back home with her parents, finishing her classes online and wondering when and if she can afford to move. “Even retail jobs are going to be hard to get, with all those people unemployed."
  • The Chicago Sun Times explained how students lost their summer internships and jobs opportunities and now face a looming recession due to the coronavirus outbreak. Their article continued, "Under the best projections, this year’s graduates will face an economy struggling to rebound, a competitive job market, and at least for the foreseeable future if social distancing or stay-at-home orders continue into the summer, a lack of jobs that often bridge the gap from campus to career."
  • Current college seniors from Kansas to Connecticut are "unsure if they will be able to financially support themselves when they graduate."
  • Jim Lowe, UConn’s assistant vice provost and executive director of the Center for Career Development, explained, "We typically have a steady stream of employers doing on-campus interviews this time of year. Clearly, that’s not happening, so students aren’t getting that one-on-one, in-person interaction". And, UConn is working to offer virtual interviews and career fairs in an effort to “bridge the gap,” Lowe said. “It’s not quite the same, and not all employers have embraced it, but we’ve provided that as an option.”
  • Inside Higher Ed declared, "Student anxiety is high as internship opportunities are rescinded and hiring delayed by employers. College career advisers remain optimistic that there are still jobs out there."
  • An Arizona based article proclaims, "Businesses are changing how they recruit, hire college grads because of coronavirus pandemic."
  • "Since the coronavirus outbreak, a majority (63%) of business leaders recruiting college students have "slowed" or "halted" college hiring", according to a recent survey.

Testimonials

  • Stanford University senior Gregory Clark is worried about after graduation and stated last spring, "I was talking with a potential employer a few days ago, and they told me that they actually couldn't go forward in the application process because a hiring freeze had been instituted", and mentioned the instability in the labor market.
  • "This is probably the most challenging economic environment for college graduates entering the labor market for the first time,” said Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist and director of research at DataCore Partners LLC. We’ve had a shock to the economy that’s unparalleled. The coronavirus has basically put a hold on economic activity."
  • "Jayme Fletcher, an upcoming graduate from Kansas State University, originally had planned to work for Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Dallas, Texas, after graduation. But after the 22-year-old returned from spring break around mid-March, the company rolled out a hiring freeze because of the financial toll the new coronavirus caused." She explained, "Having my plans get cut short as I’m starting this new chapter has been really frustrating, but especially because there’s really nothing anyone can do. Everything has come to a standstill."

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