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More UNC graduates forgo graduate school to enter job market

Graphic: More UNC graduates forego graduate school to enter job market (Anna Thompson)

Due to an improving economy, many recent graduates are finding a stronger hiring market in some fields than in the past two years.

Recent graduation surveys reported a decrease in students going directly to graduate school, indicating that more students are entering the job market, said Tim Stiles, associate director of University Career Services.

University Career Services estimates that between 23 and 25 percent of graduating seniors plan to enroll in graduate school, Stiles said.

According to graduation surveys from May 2009, 30.9 percent of graduates planned to go to graduate school, the highest rate in 24 years. It dropped to about 28 percent in 2010, Stiles said.

“We’re not going to get out of this recession overnight, but I do think that we’re on a steady climb where we are seeing more and more people get hired,” Stiles said.

Most students enter the job market if they have the option, he added.

The emergence of new media is helping open up careers for graduates, said Jay Eubank, director of placement and special programs in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“There’s such a wide range of entities that want to utilize new graduates who can write well, understand social media in particular, and can think strategically about how to get a message out there,” he said.

In spite of the economic improvement, University faculty still advise persistence and networking.

“When you’re competing with a lot of other people for good jobs, it’s a matter of having someone who has either given you the ability to get in front of the right person, the right introductions or just giving you the inside skinny on how things are going,” Eubank said.

In an email, journalism graduate Teddy Mitrosilis said job searching and networking are about persistence.

“Be relentless, while professional, and you will find others willing to help,” he said.

Eubank said students must be able to articulate their field of interest and create a relationship within that market.

“If you show confidence in your ability and show that you are professional and responsible enough for the job, you will find an opportunity,” Mitrosilis said.

But the networking process is not immediate. “People have to be patient. Jobs are out there — they’re just very competitive,” Stiles said.

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