There Are Jobs for College Graduates

May 12, 2020

Credit Illinois Department of Employment Security

Despite the pandemic and what looks like a terrible job market, many employers are planning to hire new college graduates. 

Laura Kestner-Ricketts is Executive Director of Career and Professional Development at Augustana College. And last month, she organized a virtual meeting for several colleges and more than 90 potential employers to find out what their plans are. Many are hiring because of lessons learned in 2008 during the Great Recession.

"Skipping a couple recruiting cycles really left them in the lurch for how to connect with that young talent. So I think many of our employers understand  the value of connecting with recent college grads for their own sustainability plan." 

from the CORE office at Augustana (Careers, Opportunities, Research, Exploration)
Credit Augustana College

It should be no surprise that there's a high demand for graduates in accounting, financial services, I-T, and other technical fields.  What might be a surprise is high demand for social services.

"If you look at the state of Illinois and you look at all of their hiring freezes, but then there are some areas for child and welfare services - those are all hiring in fact they're doing emergency hiring for those."

Kestner-Ricketts says they learned there'll be much less demand for graduates in fields such as marketing and hospitality. Another result of the pandemic is a huge decline in the number of internships - that would have provided summer and part-time jobs for college sophomores and juniors.

Joining her for the meeting with employers were career counselors from Black Hawk College, Western Illinois University, St. Ambrose, and Scott Community College.