Bethany Bruner, Staff Writer

With the economy still in a recession, the graduating class of 2010 may find job searching to be a challenge.

Some graduating seniors have found employment before they don the cap and gown, but others are still searching. The overall trend is more students are going to graduate school and students are seeking alternatives in record numbers. 

Bill Froude, associate director of career services, said the key to finding a job is being persistent and being flexible. 

Froude said hiring is up from last year, according to a recent report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, but last year was down so much that going up is still not as good as things could be. 

“Hiring was down 22 percent last year nationally, so being up this year is at least moving in the right direction,” Froude said. 

While data is still being gathered about the class of 2010, preliminary numbers are looking promising. According to Department of Career Services data, 45 percent of graduating seniors registered with the department have been placed in a job and 20 percent are going to graduate school. 

Froude said it is still too early to know whether those numbers will stay where they are or fluctuate. Comparisons to last year are also not easy to do at this point. 

One alternative for graduating seniors is to do something outside of their major while waiting for the job market to solidify. Froude said there have been a higher number of students looking into programs like the Peace Corps and Teach for America and the numbers for hiring in these programs have also gone up.
Matt Hoffman is one of those seniors. Hoffman is an international studies and political science major, but he will be teaching in Baton Rouge, La. after graduation with Teach for America. 

Hoffman said getting to work in a low-income school will give him valuable experience when pursuing his future career goals. 

“I want to get a degree in educational policy and I want to work with low income schools,” he said. “This is first-hand experience before I go to get that degree.” 

Employment numbers may not be as high as a few years ago, but companies are still recruiting on Oxford’s campus. 

Senior Allison George, an international studies and French major, recently found a job, even though she said it is not 100 percent for sure yet. The job is in international sales, but it has not been confirmed. 

George said she utilized Career Services at Miami, but was overwhelmed anyway. 

“It’s overwhelming as a process, not just as a job market,” she said. “You’re just overwhelmed with all this stuff and everything says high number of applicants.  It’s hard to tell how companies are off the Internet, too.” 

Even though the process is overwhelming, both Hoffman and George are glad they have somewhere to go after graduation.

“I’m not really worried about it,” George said. “I found something, so it’s OK.”