Stories produced by students in the Meek School of Journalism & New Media
The Ole Miss class of 2013 is only weeks away from graduation, and some students are more uneasy than excited.
“I don’t have a job for when I graduate, so I am just focusing my time on applying for as many jobs as possible,” says senior Neely Claire England.
A survey conducted of 2012 Ole Miss graduates showed that about 30.5 percent had jobs prior to graduation and 21.1 percent of graduates were looking for jobs, but not employed. The others went on to graduate school, were temporarily employed or were not seeking employment.
Jonathan Harrington, associate director of employer services at the Ole Miss Career Center, says there are jobs out there, but some students will have it easier than others.
“Education majors, accounting majors, pharmacy students, engineering majors and business school graduates are the most sought out job fields at the time,” says Harrington.
Taylor Harrell, who graduates in 2013 with an education degree, applied for four teaching jobs but was only offered one after many interviews.
“The interview process was difficult as there were many other applicants. I was lucky enough to have a great job offer,” says Harrell.
England says she’s going to work when she leaves Ole Miss, but she’s still looking for that dream job.
“After graduation I hope to interview for several medical sales jobs, but for the summer I am nannying for a family in Oxford,” says England.
England will join a percentage of Ole Miss graduates who are temporarily employed or work part time. In 2012, that group made up 5.1 percent of the graduating class.
It is estimated that only 2.1 percent more 2013 graduates will have jobs compared to the 2012 class, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey.
In such a tough job market, Harrington says students have to prepare for job opportunities as soon as freshman year.
“To be competitive, a student needs to do as well as they can in a classroom but they need to seek things like internships because 90 percent of employers want this,” says Harrington.
Harrington also suggests students learn where to look for jobs, network with recent graduates and constantly seek out job opportunities.
“Networking really helped me because I was able to get recommendations from other teachers who had worked with me,” says Harrell.
Harrington also tells students to “take advantage of the tools that you have.”
For example, Ole Miss offers the Career Center, which gives students opportunities to discuss career decisions, develop resumes and prepare for job searches.
One final recommendation from Harrington, “You can’t be discouraged.”
Harrington gives advice to students who are preparing for job searches.