University of South Carolina

December grads face a recovering job market

By Megan Sexton,,803-777-1421

December college graduates entering the work force face a situation similar to the one their peers encountered in May – a job market that is in a slow recovery, according to national statistics and information from the University of South Carolina Career Center.

The news is brightest for graduates with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, engineering and computer science, who will be the most marketable in today’s economy, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

The Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University reported a "strong outlook" for management consulting (including logistics and supply chain), engineering services and marketing (including advertising, public relations and other branding services) for 2012-13.

“While there is clearly reason for optimism, graduates need to recognize that hiring remains very competitive regardless of the student's major and the target industry. Employers continue to maintain a very high standard -- placing great emphasis on experience level of candidates, especially internship and co-op experience,” said Tom Halasz, director of USC’s Career Center.

Nationally, employment rose by 146,000 jobs in November, resulting in a drop in the unemployment level to 7.7 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In South Carolina, unemployment was at 8.6 percent in October. The BLS reported that retail trade, professional and business services and health care employment all increased.

Through 2020, the bureau projects 25 percent of all new jobs will be created in three industries -- construction, retail trade and office of health practitioners. The areas expected to add the most employees are registered nurses, retail salesperson, home health aides and personal care aides.

The 2,783 graduates who earned their degrees from eight USC campuses Monday (Dec 17) have seen higher turnouts by employers at Carolina’s fall job fairs, Halasz said.

The fall Science, Engineering and Technology Fair (SET) employer registration increased by 23 percent, while the fall non-technical fair (Career Fest) increased by 4 percent. For the upcoming semester, registration for spring SET is running 37 percent ahead of last spring, while Career Fest is up nearly 17 percent. Among the industries expected at the spring SET are manufacturing, including BMW, Eaton, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Intel, Parker Hannifin/Gas Turbine Fuel Systems and The Shaw Group. Non-manufacturers recruiting at SET are the FBI, Integration Point, PepsiCo/Pepsi and Vanguard. Among the companies registered for Career Fest are BMW, Bosch, FDIC, Kohl's, Nestle and Teach for America.

In addition to SET and FEST, the spring Education Recruitment Day looks promising, with school district registrations up by 150 percent, Halasz said.

Current USC students and alumni are highly encouraged to attend the university’s career fairs and can find information on the dates of events and how to prepare for career fairs at Record number of job postings are available, with full-time job postings for the 2011-2012 year up by more than 62 percent over the previous year, with an increase of 55 percent for the fall semester. Students and alumni are encouraged to search the online job postings at

News and Internal Communications

Posted: 12/18/12 @ 9:00 AM | Updated: 01/03/13 @ 8:15 AM | Permalink