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Economic Crisis  Impacts College Graduates

  • Tara Palmeri

With the U.S. economy in recession and the unemployment rate at a 34 year high, students getting ready to enter the job market say they're scared. Some career experts say there's good reason to be concerned. But others say there are also equally good reasons to be upbeat.

Once, there was a time when graduating from a university was cause for celebration. But with today's economic crisis, students face difficulties entering the workforce. It's an anxious time for many.

At Catholic University in Washington, some students say they're starting to look for jobs before they graduate.

"It's very intimidating to know that you will be going out there and you don't know what you will be facing," said Lisa Campbell, a student at the university.

Most students have never known a serious economic crisis.

Dr. Allen Goodman at Catholic University's Career Center says students must be willing to consider a wide variety of options.

"You may not get your ideal job first," Dr. Goodman said. "You'll have to be more flexible and look for a job that perhaps you wouldn't have taken before but perhaps as a stepping stone to something that you really want."

Allen says students specializing in industries hit hard by the economic decline may need to look for jobs outside of their fields. This might also be a good time for students to pursue graduate degrees.

According to the 2008-2009 Recruiting Trend Reports employment opportunities have dropped 8 percent since last year, but there still seem to be employment outlooks for the science and technology fields.

"We predict solid growth for that occupation for scientists, life scientists in particular," said Michael Wolf, an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "But physical scientists as well as engineers will be in demand for the next 10 years."

Wolf says the job situation will improve once the financial crisis is over. He says opportunities will be greatest for students with higher university degrees.

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