Recent College Grads Face Tough Job Market

ByABC News
March 8, 2001, 3:48 PM

March 9 -- Decked out in her new interview suit and clutching a leather portfolio filled with resumes, Sara Walters is all confidence as she begins her job search.

After all, she's had internships and good grades, and has beenactive all through college. She makes it clear that her sights areset only on top firms offering top dollar.

"People talk about the recession, but I'm not worried," saidWalters, 22, a marketing major at Northeastern University inBoston. "I know there's still a market for college graduates, andI know there's a job out there for me."

Don't be so sure, career counselors say. With the shutdown ofInternet startups and a slowdown in the economy, a glut of peoplewith experience in high-tech industries are competing for availablejobs, leaving fewer opportunities for recent graduates.

As a result, recruiters are coming to campus job fairs withfewer jobs, and some colleges are cracking down on students whoaren't taking the situation seriously.

"Last year you could have had a degree in low demand, a lousygrade-point average and bad interpersonal skills, and still get ajob," said Mimi Collins, a spokeswoman for the NationalAssociation of Colleges and Employers. "But that's not the way itis anymore."

'They Should Be Worried'

Few students seem to see any dark clouds on their job-seekinghorizon. In fact, career counselors say some are so confident aboutthe prospects of easily landing a job, they aren't even botheringto meet with recruiters.

"They should be worried, but I don't think it's caught up tothem yet," said Carol Lyons, dean of career services atNortheastern.

Several of her regular recruiters canceled this year because ofhiring freezes and cutbacks, she said, while others pulled out atthe last minute because of low student interest.

The same holds true at other schools around the country. Infact, so few students showed up for their interviews at LehighUniversity that officials set a new rule this year: skip oneinterview and you're locked out of the recruiting process for good.