If you finished school recently and have been looking for work, you probably already know what university officials are telling graduates, that the job market isn’t exactly an easy one right now. University of South Carolina Career Center director Tom Halasz(HA-lahz) says job offers for liberal-arts graduates as a group remain flat.But while the jobless rate in South Carolina has exceeded 11 percent, Halasz points out that the figure is less than half that for college graduates. “Jobs are available, particularly in technology sectors, in computer science. Some retail jobs are available, but not across the board.”
Halasz warns that even though there are some opportunities out there, the jobs may not be in the geographical areas, or the occupations, that students had hoped for. “So while this is a very hard job market, we want to be encouraging to our graduates. There are opportunities there. They just have to work harder and longer to find them.”
Salary offers are lower. The average offer to a 2009 bachelor’s degree graduate is $48,000, down 2.3 percent from last spring. However engineering degree holders fared best, with a 2.3-percent increase in their average offer, which now stands at more than $58,000. Computer science majors lost 3.6 percent off their average salary, bringing their starting salary offers to almost $58,000. Business majors rose one percent to $47,000 starting salary.
U.S.C. and other university officials say the career fairs have been attended this school year by considerably fewer companies.