The National Association of Colleges and Employers projected a four percent employment increase for students who are set to graduate this fall.
Jaime Page-Stadler, director of Career Services at UW Oshkosh, said this growth is due to the growing number of new businesses.
“First and foremost, it looks at overall business models,” Page-Stadler said. “Depending on what industries you are looking at, it varies. There are a lot of businesses that are growing, especially new startups and midsize organizations.”
Page-Stadler said this surge of small- and medium-sized businesses is what gives students the most opportunities.
“That definitely provides a lot of opportunities for new positions or recycling positions to create what they are looking for,” Page-Stadler said. “You probably won’t see as much growth in larger organizations just because of capacity.”
Page-Stadler said this growth in jobs comes from the differences in ages that are in the workforce right now.
“The other big thing is when we look at the talent flow, we have a very large population that’s still in the process of leaving the workforce,” Page-Stadler said. “We have some demographics in the workforce right now with different population groups with baby boomers slowly leaving, Generation X and millennials.”
UWO senior Brittany Moscatelli said the job growth makes her even more determined to finish strong in her final year of school.
“Knowing that there are better chances when I graduate is, like, the motivation I needed to keep me going,” Moscatelli said. “It makes all of my long nights studying and working so hard on homework all feel like it’s worth something.”
Page-Stadler said having smaller generation groups can also help with the growth of job opportunities.
“Some of those populations are pretty small, like Gen X, and so if we have a large group leaving, like baby boomers, we’re going to see a lot more opportunity,” Page-Stadler said. “There’s a lot of business models that are changing, a lot of skillsets that are changing, and that’s why we see such growth and opportunity for students.”
Page-Stadler said it’s not just internships students should focus on, think of them as just a part of their professional development.
“Obviously our motto is ‘get hired,’” Page-Stadler said. “The biggest thing is gaining experience.”
Page-Stadler said internships are a great tool for developing professional skills, but said they can also hinder students.
“If they are able to secure internships, I would encourage students to work with our career advisers to find out which opportunities would make them more marketable,” Page-Stadler said. “I don’t want students to do the same thing because of comfort and a lot of students do that because they want to be successful.”
Page-Stadler said another important aspect is being able to make connections with others in one’s field of interest.
“Through gaining new experiences, they do the second part I want which is networking,” Page-Stadler said. “It’s hard to find a job all by yourself but if you solicit people around you, faculty, staff, past class members, you’ll find more opportunities quicker.”
Page-Stadler said networks offer the extra push of support to further oneself that professional organizations may not always have.
“A network is going to help support new professionals in their career and help them build their professional development even further,” Page-Stadler said.
UWO radio/TV/film major Jolee Mallmann said she has advantage of the Career Services resources.
“I may not be graduating for another year and a half, but the tips and workshops they have are great,” Mallmann said. “By starting to work on my skills now, who knows where I will be when I graduate?”