While students struggle to find careers after graduating from college, not all of them are taking advantage of the resources available to them on campus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among college students has climbed to 4.4 percent in October from 4.2 percent the previous month. The nation’s unemployment rate also saw little change in October, falling to 9 percent from 9.1 percent the previous month.
For students on SF State’s campus there are many opportunities they can take advantage of that will give them an edge over others when diving into the job market.
As a result of the difficult job market, Alan Fisk, director of the Career Center, says he has seen an increase of recent alumni coming back to seek help from the career center because they were either recently laid off or still haven’t found a job.
“We are seeing students who graduated a couple years ago and either got a job and then got laid off coming back to us, or students who graduated and still haven’t found a job. So it is tough out there, but there are things students can do to really prepare themselves,” Fisk said.
Students have the opportunity to participate in workshops like resume writing, job and internship search strategies and “how to make a job fair work for you.” Other services the career center provides are career expos and jobs fairs. This allows students time to meet with employers during these recruiting events and learn about jobs, internships and career opportunities. This spring the Career Center will also offer a career symposium, which is a mini-career fair with an educational component.
Students can also meet with career counselors one on one to find out what career would be a good fit for them based on their interests, passions and personality. Assessments can be given to accurately choose the major and career best suited to fit them.
“Their are a lot of undergrads who don’t know what majors to go into so we have classes that help them to find out what their interests are and point them in the direction that would fit their needs,” said Kirsten Liaz, a student assistant at the Career Center.
As the result of budget cuts the Career Center currently only has two counselors, compared to three or four years ago when they had five counselors.
One of the biggest challenges the center faces is how to get the word out to students that they exist and that they are here to help as well as to educate students about the services that are offered that can help prepare them for the transition from the academic world to the work world.
“I don’t know much about it. I’d like to know more about it. I need to figure out my career and stuff,” said Paige McKinley, a junior at SF State, who has neither used the services provided by the Career Center, nor has even really heard of it.
If given more information McKinley said she would like to take advantage of the services offered.
“If there were career counselors that would help to point you in the right direction of some things you are interested for the correct career that would be nice. If they do that already I don’t know,” said McKinley.
Career counselors are available by appointment or during drop in hours Tues. through Wed. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Services Building, Room 206. Drop in hours are also available in the evening on Mon. and Tues. from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Student Services Building at the One Stop, window seven.