OU Career Services caters programs to benefit upcoming graduates
Oklahoma’s unemployment rate and efforts by OU Career Services are helping graduating students find jobs.
OU Job Expo
WHEN: 12:30 to 3 p.m. April 5
WHERE: Lloyd Noble Center
As of January, Oklahoma’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent, compared to the national rate of 8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In January 2010, the Oklahoma unemployment rate was 7.2 percent, the highest since 1990.
Management information systems senior David Blaine Lewis Jr. will graduate in May and already has a job lined up with ConocoPhillips in Bartlesville, he said. The field wasn’t his first choice, but it was best for him in terms of finding a job.
“I wanted to be a lawyer and still have a passion for law,” Lewis said. “I would like to practice criminal defense law, but the job market for lawyers wasn’t ideal, so I chose to pursue a job right out of undergrad.”
Lewis said he attributes getting his job to attending the Fall Career Fair held by OU Career Services in Lloyd Noble Center.
Despite the low unemployment rate, the hardest job a student will ever have is finding a job, Career Services director Bette Scott said.
Certain fields are better for employment than others, Scott said.
“The hot majors right now are in the IT-related fields,” she said. “We had a huge number of students in those areas prior to Y2K. And that came and went, and the job market just shriveled up into nothing. Now the demand has picked back up.”
Career Services allows students to upload resumes and apply for jobs at more than 7,000 companies through a database, Scott said.
“We are the go-between between students and employers for internships and full-time positions,” Scott said. “Every day some employer is going on and posting jobs.”
If students get job offers, they should consider more than just the pay, Scott said.
“You should choose your first job not by how much you will get paid but from how much you will learn,” Scott said. “You’re not going to retire with your first job, or at least you hopefully won’t.”
Students without job offers can consider applying for graduate school to make them more competitive when the market is better in the future, said Clay Wesley, OU Graduate College recruitment and engagement liaison.
Graduate school enrollment during the past 100 years has spiked when there is a major war or depression, which happened in 2008 and 2009, Wesley said.
“You’re starting to hear a lot more that a master’s degree is the new bachelor’s degree, so a lot of jobs are more easy to secure by going on a further two years,” Wesley said.