Future prospects for grads
While many students from Wilfrid Laurier University are still struggling to find summer employment, graduates are beginning their search for careers.
Jan Basso, Laurier’s director for the co-operative education and the career development centre, explained that the career development centre has been doing an annual survey of graduating students since 1980 to find out how many students are immediately entering the job market, pursuing further education or remain unemployed.
The most recent data is from the 2010 graduating class, as last year’s is still being collected.
In 2010, of the 3,662 graduating students, 73 per cent replied to the survey. Of that 73 per cent, 58 per cent reported they had jobs lined up upon their graduation; 34.6 per cent were planning on pursuing some form of further education, and only 4.6 per cent were currently unemployed.
The faculties of arts and business had the biggest response from graduating students. Of the 1,397 students that responded who were graduating with arts degrees, roughly 656 had jobs lined up, with 662 pursuing further education.
Of the 468 responses from business graduates, 346 had jobs lined up, with only 70 pursuing further education.
According to Basso and the survey, of the arts students, 3.8 per cent were unemployed, whereas it was a figure of 6 per cent for the business graduates.
The survey includes part-time, contract and full-time jobs, as well as those relating specifically to the graduate’s degrees and minimum wage paying jobs.
Of the number of students stating they planned on furthering their education, 30 per cent indicated they were going to graduate school, with 25 per cent indicating they would be attending college.
The number of graduates pursuing further education in the career centre’s survey is echoed in a recent report released by TD Economics.
In this report, data from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada is used to show that, between 2007 and 2011, roughly 160,000 young adults have gone back to school to acquire new degrees in order to compete in various job markets.
The report also indicated that since the recent recession began, roughly 175,000 young Canadians have left the workplace due to job cuts and growing competition for employment.
However, Basso remains optimistic about the job market for graduates.
According to Basso, if Laurier students use the resources the school has to offer regarding finding employment, they will have a better chance at being successful.
She also stated that students needed to take time and think about what they want to do with their lives.
“I think those who do take the time to [think] are much more successful at finding jobs, and finding jobs that really match their preferences,” she explained.
“The first step in all of this is really taking the time to think about your skills, interests, values and goals.”