The craze of the job market maze

Before renting out the couch in mom and dad’s basement, keep in mind that persistence pays. In this grim economic climate, finding work has proved to be a tough task according to interviews with UVM students, whether the job search is completed or in progress.”Yes, the job market is tighter than it has been,” director of Career Services Pamela Gardner said. “This is the third recession I have seen … this one is definitely the most difficult that we have had since the early ’80s.” This past week, March 24 to 26, was career week at the University.  Employers and counselors came to networking events, the green job fair and the career fair. Career Services emphasizes networking as the most prominent factor in a successful job search, along with, of course, excellence, Gardner said.Junior Ken Muraki looked to expand his network of contacts at the March 24 Vermont networking event. The events held by Career Services, however, are a bit smaller than in past years. “We have had some decline in the number of employers that we have gotten here to post jobs and interviews,” Gardner said.Despite the increasing difficulty to find jobs, UVM students are still pursuing the same career paths as they have in the past, Gardner said. Gardner cites green jobs, jobs with non-profits and jobs in communications as some of the most popular career choices for graduating seniors.UVM senior David Bidwell’s job search is in the environmental career market.  “It’s going slowly, but making progress,” Bidwell said.  He hopes some opportunities are emerging.According to City Year, a non-profit organization that employs young people to act as leaders and role models in different communities, applications for jobs in their program are up 180 percent this year as compared to last year. There are, however, still opportunities for graduating seniors to find jobs in the non-profit market.U.S. PIRG, a federation of state-based public interest groups, is hiring 100 graduating college students this year to make an impact on a number of public issues, Colleen Spivey of the federation’s recruitment department said.Graduating seniors are also avoiding the job search by attending graduate school. “Every grad school in the country this year will experience increased applications,” Gardner said.  “This is one of those patterns that I can say with some confidence that plays out every time there is a recession.”New graduates are not the only ones having difficulty finding jobs this spring; UVM alumni are swimming in the competitive job market as well.”We have definitely got more alums using us [Career Services] in the past few months with what is going on,” Alumni Career Programs Coordinator Alyssa Strong said.Although times are tight and jobs are scarce, they do exist. “Everyone is so concerned about the economy that it is hard to get people to talk about what they want,” Gardner said. The last thing she wants is for students to get discouraged, Gardner said.