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Survey shows guarded optimism on job market

11/10/2003

Employers surveyed at Miami University's annual fall career fair predict the job market will be about the same this academic year as last.

There is some reason for guarded optimism that the current job market-one of the toughest for new college graduates in recent decades-may be turning around.

“While not overwhelming, a small percentage of employers indicated they anticipate hiring a greater number than in past years,” said Rick Hearin, director of Miami’s office of career services.

A total of 158 organizations attended this year’s career fair with more than two-thirds responding to the annual survey.

More than 25 percent of employers reported they would be visiting more campuses this year than last year. Additionally, 29 percent of employers indicated they would be hiring new graduates as interns. Hiring graduates as interns is a recent trend and it presents a way to position oneself until professional openings begin to develop, said Hearin.

Communication skills, both oral and written, remain the number one quality sought in a new employee. A good academic record and leadership skills were the next most desired traits.

More than 72 percent of employers stated that they prefer a student to have taken a major interest in one or two activities as opposed to being less involved in numerous activities.

The annual survey represents a cross-section of employers. “With the economy beginning to rebound, this is a great time, strategically speaking, for companies to begin to get a toehold at key campuses for future recruiting purposes,” Hearin said.

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