Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Job prospects improving for OU graduates
By Jeff Samoray, OU Web Writer
Though the slow economy has affected employment rates nationwide over the last few years, Oakland University graduates are having increasing success in the job market. In a survey of 2002-03 OU graduates conducted by Career Services, 92 percent found employment within six months of graduation, an increase of 3 percent over the previous year’s survey.
“There has been a gradual improvement in the job market over the past year, and I think we’re moving in the right direction,” said Bob Thomas, director of Career Services. “Our office also is seeing a gradual increase in the number of online job postings, and I think we’ll see a significant improvement in the job market in the second half of this year.”
About 31 percent of the August and December 2002 and April and June 2003 graduates responded to the survey. Full-time employment rose by 4 percent and part-time employment by 6 percent.
“The increase in part-time employment is to be expected because we’re recovering from a slow job market,” Thomas said. “I also think we’ll see a gradual shift toward more open full-time positions later this year. We’re starting to see more employers at our career fairs, which is also a good sign because it means that they’re beginning to show some interest in hiring. I believe our on-campus recruiting will be much improved compared to the last three years.”
Two of the most successful fields in terms of employment are nursing and accounting. Of those who responded to the survey, 100 percent were employed in a field related to their major.
“Certainly the nursing figures have to do with supply and demand,” Thomas said. “There are simply not as many nurses coming out school as needed. Accounting graduates are finding success because every business needs them, and many companies recovering from the slow economy have financial issues that need to be straightened out.”
There also is a salary component to the survey that shows positive trends. The average annual salary reported by undergraduates was $35,571, a slight increase over last year. Bachelor of General Studies undergraduates topped the list with an average of $62,551. The graduate student average salary dropped slightly to $52,512. School of Business Administration graduates had the top average salary at $72,093.
“The salary numbers are a bit skewed because we had fewer survey respondents for that portion,” Thomas said. “But the salaries reported are generally keeping up with the cost of living. The salaries also compare favorably among those reported in the Midwest.”
Career Services is sponsoring the ninth annual Educators Recruiting Day on Wednesday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms. Representatives from about 30 schools and school districts from throughout the Detroit metropolitan area will be interviewing OU education seniors and alumni for teaching and counseling positions. Though the deadline for scheduling appointments has passed, students and alumni may still participate by signing up at the event on a first-come, first-served basis for interviews that have cancellations or openings. A complete list of participating schools and school districts can be found on the Career Services Web site under the Educators Recruiting Day Participating Schools link.
OU graduates and alumni are encouraged to use the resources available to them in the Career Services Office, where employers continue to post full- and part-time jobs, internships and co-ops. The professional advisers in Career Services also can assist with career and employment needs. Visit the Career Services Web site or contact their office at (248) 370-3250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.