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What is the job market outlook for new college graduates this spring?

District Voices

Published May 1, 2008  |  May 2008 issue

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Job opportunities for college graduates with degrees in health care and education remain steady in northwest Wisconsin. ... Health care providers are always looking for new recruits, and school districts will need to replace some, if not all, of the teachers who are retiring. There will be some job opportunities in other fields, such as engineering, accounting, forestry and business management; however, these opportunities will be somewhat limited, compared to those in health care and education. We don't have many large employers looking to fill numerous positions, and the openings that occur will more than likely be in existing positions as baby boomers retire and vacancies result.
Beverly Gehrke, Labor Market Analyst
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development—Hayward, Wis.

I think in most sectors that Northern Michigan University students look at, the job prospects are fairly positive. Obviously, there are some of those majors or some employment areas that are a little bit less positive than others—for example, teaching. Finding a teaching position especially here in the Upper Midwest is a little bit challenging right now. ... On the flip side, obviously, positions in IT, information systems, information management [and] computer networking are strong areas for Northern graduates, as is the area of finance and accounting. So our graduates in both of those disciplines do extraordinarily well. Sales and marketing is still very strong, whether students want to stick around here in the Upper Peninsula or if they're looking at relocating to Wisconsin or Illinois.
John Frick, Director of Career Services
Northern Michigan University—Marquette, Mich.

[W]e have more jobs right now than we have people to fill them. We do strictly deal with the entry-level market, and sometimes this can be a slower time of year for candidates because we've exhausted the December graduates and we're kind of waiting for the crop of May-June graduates. But the last few years, these have been actually pretty good months for us; we started out the year really good in January or February. March has been a little slow, but it's not due to lack of jobs; it's due to lack of qualified candidates. So we haven't felt that crunch yet. Whether we will I don't know.
Matt Benedict, General Manager
Career Professionals Inc.—Edina, Minn.

We have 3,000 unfilled openings right now. And then we have companies that are re-locating and expanding, and I'll just mention two global companies with large operations here. CNH America LLC is Case New Holland. They're expanding their manufacturing plant for agriculture and construction equipment. … Microsoft's third-largest campus is expanding yet again in Fargo-Moorhead. So they're continuously looking for people from our community and region, and literally around the world, for their campus here. … [W]e've got a healthy job market here for new grads this spring.
David K. Martin, President and CEO
Chamber of Commerce of Fargo-Moorhead—Fargo, N.D.

The economy in South Dakota keeps thriving, with new jobs growing at an average rate of 2 percent each year since 2004.  This provides great opportunities for college graduates. The market looks especially good for recent grads in nursing, teaching, accounting, computer technology and automotive-related occupations.
Pam Roberts, Secretary, South Dakota
Department of Labor—Pierre, S.D.

I don't see any effect of the downturn in the economy on the job market. Most of the kids I'm graduating with already have jobs or are getting jobs. I'm going to have a job. I'm just going to stay where I am right now, at a bank in Bozeman, but I think if you're willing to travel, and have no strings attached, there are definitely opportunities out there that pay very well.
Amy Erichsen, Senior Economics and Agricultural Business Major
Montana State University—Bozeman, Mont.

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