Job Market Bright But Competitive for College Grads
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
MURFREESBORO,Tenn.- After years of hard work, for MTSU seniors, the end is near.
"I just actually not even five minutes ago handed in my final paper," student Matthew Joy said. "So I have a feeling of completion ...I'm looking forward to it,".
The real world is just around the corner and some are already getting a taste of its sometimes harsh reality.
"It's tight. It's very difficult and very competitive right now," student Eden Fann said about the job market. "You kind of have to have something extra."
Fann is getting her Master's degree in education. With few job prospects after completing her undergraduate education, she thought an advanced degree would give her an edge.
"I feel like I have that little bit extra something because I have a Master's degree. When I first came out of undergrad I didn't think there was anything I could really do," she said. "I just had a history degree and nothing marketable."
Despite the high unemployment rate, career counselors say the job market is bright for this year's graduates.
"When you're looking at the national numbers you're still seeing 8 percent unemployment," Bill Fletcher, Director Career Development Center, said. "But then when you get down to those with college degrees it drops down significantly."
At MTSU there are 38 percent more jobs posted now than this time last year but it comes with stiff competition.
"It's not the fact that you have a college degree," Fletcher stressed. "It's the fact that you know what you want to do with that college degree and that you start early."
Some students are more prepared than others. Then next chapter of their lives is fast approaching whether they're ready or not.
During the recession slightly more students at MTSU decided to get a graduate degree versus entering the workforce. Career counselors say that's an option only if the student knows what want to do. Otherwise they advise getting a job because it's a cheaper and more valuable way to figure out what to do next.