The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Graduates lost for career fields-Students completing degrees with no direction

By Rebecca Rumzek/reporter

Throughout college, students are often asked what they plan to do with their major.

The truth is that most grads have only a vague notion or simply do not know what they want to do. College graduation can be a mixed blessing for those not ready to leave the safety of academia.

The beauty of obtaining a degree is the many doors opened. In fact, a college degree provides a number of transferable skills, including critical thinking abilities, research capabilities and knowledge of a variety of computer software. Not only is the graduate prepared for a career in rapidly growing industries, he is also qualified to work in other industries similar to the degree field.

Even though new graduates are well prepared, the business world is another animal entirely. Students have finally made it through college and are ready to enter the real world. Now they need to take steps into preparing for the future, but many students do not learn about the corporate world in college.

Learning about options now would help students develop a focused game plan.

Students who do not know where to start following graduation should consider the things they enjoy.

Answers to the following questions can provide students with some insight into the professions they might want to pursue. What do you find yourself talking to friends and family about? What is the first section of the newspaper you turn to? What are your favorite Web sites? 

As students consider potential career paths, they should be realistic. They can start by taking an inventory of strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes to figure out what kind of job suits them. They can research the jobs that fit their talents and personality. Since a degree opens any number of job fields, students should make sure they go into the right one for them.

Students can jump-start a career search by finding out their personality type by taking the Myers-Briggs Types Indicator.

Luann Krey, NW coordinator for career development, said the MBTI is a personality test that will help students discover where their interests lie and help them eliminate others.

“ [Career counselors] swear by it,” she said, “and they suggest that all students take this test in order not to waste time in the wrong career.”

The MBTI is available online or in the career development office on TCC campuses.

“ Numerous resources among schools, libraries and the Internet are available, and students should use them,” she said.

TCC created the College Central Network—www.collegecentral.com/tccd—site specifically for students, Krey said.

“ Employers are aware of the disciplines each campus offers and aims to hire students who qualify,” she said. “Students are able to upload a pre-approved resume on the site and can research companies.”

Krey said students should approach the job search seriously.

“ Students should be prepared for the job they are going to take,” she said. “Do your research. Make sure you match the qualifications needed for the job.”

Students can also find reference books in bookstores and libraries that outline careers for different majors, or they can interview professionals to learn more about their careers. During these meetings, they can ask how the person being interviewed entered the field, what types of things make the job exciting and what challenges one should expect.

This process will help make students aware of all the steps they need to take to get where they want to be.

Volunteering, interning, doing part-time work or taking classes in other areas of interest helps keep the options open.

Students should involve themselves in community events and get to know local professionals who can provide contacts, advice and references. Friends, family and even former classmates or professors help arrange career-information interviews.

TCC’s career centers can give guidance to students after graduation.

The class of 2007 faces a bright future with promising job prospects and salary increases. Fifty-two percent of hiring managers said they planned to recruit recent college graduates this year, according to Job Outlook 2007 Fall Preview Survey conducted by the Assocition of Colleges and Employers.

Although that number shows a slight decrease from last year’s predictions, only 5.4 percent of employers said they expect to decrease hiring this year, down from 18.2 percent last year.

With promising job opportunities, favorable salaries and plenty of free time, new grads should have no reason not to look for that first job. Job prospects for new college graduates in Texas look encouraging, as employers in the South plan to hire 25.5 percent more new college grads this year than last year, according to the survey. That percentage is higher than any other region.

To gain additional information or help in this situation, contact the career development office on any campus.

For some, finding that first full-time job can be more challenging than any final exam, but with the right tools and planning, the task is a manageable feat.

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