Job market looking good for grads

USF seniors graduating Dec. 11 are facing the best job market in a long time. According to USF economics professor Mike Loewy, the job market hasn’t looked this good since early 2001.

“It has taken this long for the economy to recover from this last recession,” Loewy said.

The Job Outlook Survey 2005, conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, found that jobs in accounting, customer service, economics and finance are areas where students commonly have an easier time finding work.

Loewy said graduating students should look forward to finding work because there are numerous job openings right now. Gains and productivity can only go so high with a certain number of people, he said. As a result, employers will have to accommodate for their growth so as not to overextend their workers.

“An increase in the workforce is needed,” Loewy said.

Loewy attributes his opinion to government economists and private forecasters who study job market trends.

“If they’re right, then we would definitely see an increase in employment,” he said.

At only 19, Icela Selva is the class of 2004’s youngest graduate. She is looking forward to putting her marketing degree to use.

“I hope to get a job in marketing because I like it and I can speak Spanish and Portuguese,” Selva said.

Selva is also graduating with a minor in international business. She is able to graduate early because she did dual enrollment with St. Petersburg College during her sophomore year in high school. After obtaining her Associate’s degree at the age of 17, she came to USF.

“I was overwhelmed by USF; it’s just so different,” Selva said.

She said she was used to much smaller classes. Although she knows she’s young, she didn’t expect to be the youngest graduate this semester.

“I think it’s amazing”, she said.

Calvin Wright, fall 2004’s oldest graduate, is 62. He received his first degree from USF, in social science, in 1983. Wright worked as a mechanic after he graduated, but a back injury got in the way of everyday work so he decided to return to USF and earn his teaching certification in industrial/technical education.

“I’m excited because when you teach in this field, it’s a lot easier on the body,” Wright said.

He acknowledged the fact that in his field there are not many job openings, but he remains optimistic.

“I will do what I have to do while I’m waiting. Maybe I will do some substitute teaching,” Wright said.

Wright and Selva will join more than 3,000 students at USF’s 74th commencement ceremony at the Sun Dome.