Job market expected to be good for Clark County college grads

A new report showing employers increasing their hiring of new college graduates marks good news for the upcoming graduation season in Clark County.

Hiring of recent grads is predicted to rise by nearly 17 percent compared to 2018, according to an annual report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The last time employers increased their hiring of new grads that much was 2007, when it rose by more than 19 percent, according to NACE.

Wendy Smiseck, Director of Career Services at Wittenberg University, said she’s seen the hiring increase herself first hand.

“Students are coming in one day for help on their resume, then the next day they come in saying, “I’ve already gotten a couple interviews,” Smiseck said. “It’s been moving pretty quickly.”

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Increased hiring among businesses is mostly fueled by a continually improving economy, anticipated retirements and a heightened focus on planning for the future, companies told NACE.

Smiseck said she’s seen a recent up-tick in companies looking to fill more unconventional positions.

“We’ve really seen a lot of companies looking to hire for art, graphic design, stuff like that,” Smiseck said. “We’ve also had a lot of non profits ready to fill positions as well.”

So which graduates are getting snatched up by companies the quickest? Smiseck said it depends on the field.

Several of the fastest growing career fields include health care, information technology and engineering, among others, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career field growth is one of the reasons Emily Walzak, a senior at Wittenberg University, chose a major under the health care umbrella. Going into college, Walzak said she felt confident she would secure a job after graduation.

After graduating with a degree in social work in May, Walzak will relocate back home to New Hampshire to take a job at Seacoast Health Center.

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“I’ll be doing recruiting work for them,” Walzak said. “But I’m not really sure what my day-to-day is going to look like yet. I’m still pretty early in that process.”

While the NACE report has some grads optimistic, it doesn’t necessarily mean every student is guaranteed a job, Wittenberg University senior Madeline Stock has come to find out.

“It’s been really stressful trying to find a job,” Stock said. “I’m overwhelmed and I’m also still trying to finish some of my hardest classes.”

Stock will be graduating with a nursing degree in May, and has been looking for RN jobs in Denver.

“Maybe it’s because I’m looking for a job out of state,” Stock said. “But it sure hasn’t been easy for me.”

Wittenberg University’s commencement ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday May 11.

The Springfield News-Sun is committed to covering education through Clark and Champaign County, including focusing on the job market for recent college graduates.

17: Percent increase in hiring of recent college graduates in 2019

2007: The last time employers increased their hiring of new college graduates that substantially

May 11: Graduation date for Wittenberg University

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