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Got My Degree…Now What?

The college placement services I experienced at the all-boys Jesuit Prep School from which I graduated consisted primarily of a first-generation database, a couple of color brochures, and a placement counselor who clearly wanted to spend more time with those destined for greater things. As a result, I ended up going to a pretty good school, in a really cool city, making it up as I went along, and having a really good time on (and off) campus. And while I am happy with my career decisions thus far, I’ve been lucky. Thanks to myFootpath.com, far fewer education, degree, and related career decisions needlessly fall short because of chance. Aspiring to the goal of  ”[providing] you with thoughts, advice, and experience on how best to find your footpath, and navigate all the twists and turns in the journey we call ‘life’,” myFootpath.com gives its users a framework for making some of these pretty tough – and lasting – decisions.

One of their writers interviewed me a couple of weeks ago for a blog series they wanted to do to “[offer] advice and a little bit of good news to recent and soon-to-be grads looking for their first job out of college.” Part I of that series was published last week and I’m sharing it here just to spread the love a bit. Who knows if you know of someone faced with the (daunting) task of finding a job right now with a newly minted degree. If you do, share the post…and point them to myFootpath.com.

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Finding Your First Job out of College Part I: Your Degree Makes a Difference

Finding a Job Isn’t as Scary as it Seems

For recent grads on the job hunt, listening to the national news can be downright depressing. Lower-than-expected job creation, a continuing credit crunch, and skittish hiring managers all make for juicy story lines for the evening news, but aren’t particularly encouraging for a twenty-something firing out resumes from underneath a pile of student loans.

While there’s no shortage of doom and gloom to be found, human resources executive Charlie Judy says there’s plenty of good news to be found—you just need to know where to look for it. And he should know; Mr. Judy has nearly two decades of human resources experience in a variety of roles and industries, and is currently the Global Director of HR Strategic Development and Operations for Navigant Consulting, Inc., a Chicago-based consulting firm with over 2,500 professionals throughout the world.

I had the chance to speak with Mr. Judy about the employment outlook for recent and soon-to-be grads, both in the short term and over the long haul. And while it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, there’s plenty of reason for optimism for those of you who just received diplomas or will be doing so in the coming years.

By and large, he says, corporations are continuing to focus on campus recruiting.  And for the first time in years, he’s seen a lot more activity and dialogue around making sure companies remain competitive in starting salaries for grads—companies are still well aware that they need young talent.

That doesn’t mean you’re going to waltz off the stage in your cap and gown right into a cushy six-figure job, of course. Mr. Judy is quick to remind us that the job market for new grads, just as it is for everyone else, is industry-dependent. For that reason, if you’re early in your college careers and aren’t sure what you want to do with your life, you may want to look long and hard at the degrees that are most in-demand right now.

Top Degree Programs for Starting Your Career

In terms of employability, computer science and information technology are as strong as ever, and certain technical fields, such as environmental, petroleum, and civil engineering, are booming as well. Of course, for those looking to enter the healthcare field, nursing degrees are nearly a guarantee of employment, and those of you planning on becoming doctors are looking at very promising prospects. And in the corporate world, finance and business management majors remain in strong demand. But in terms of business degrees, Mr. Judy sees one standing out among the rest.

“A degree in a fundamental business competency makes you a more attractive candidate, simply because you’re coming to the table with a baseline skill set and understanding that gives you pretty stable footing right out of the gate. I may be biased here because I’m a CPA, but a degree in accountingmay be the most valuable degree you can get if you want to go into business. You will use that expertise every day throughout your career.”

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Biased or not, he’s got a point: whether you want to go to work for a Fortune 500 corporate giant or start your own firm, an understanding of basic accounting principles and the ability to read a financial statement are fundamental to all business practices, and earning an accounting degree proves your competency in the field. And according to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, accounting and auditing positions are expected to grow much faster than the national average in coming years.

Original Post Written By: Nate Abbott, a graduate student and a writer for myFootpath
Attribution and Copyright for Original Post: myFootpath
Image Credit: sindesign

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