Those at the UC Berkeley Career Center say it was a sign Bay Area employers are feeling more comfortable about the economy, the fact that so many of them were at Friday's job fair, ready to hire. It shows in the optimism on their faces. Things may be looking up for UC Berkeley graduates looking for a job in a market that hasn't shown much promise in years past. "I think a lot of students are optimistic about their prospects and I think that employers are also optimistic about their hiring plans," said Dara Ziegelmeier at the Cal Career Center.
This year, more than 1,000 Cal students signed up for a two-day job fair that includes 160 employers. The participants range from big-name companies like Oracle to start-ups and small firms with names like "Tiny Company." "PR, marketing, real estate, anything in the business world. I'm really just trying to figure out what I like right now and I'm open to anything," student Annie Shafran told ABC7.
Redwood city-based Equilar is looking to hire 15 graduates. The company analyzes executive compensation data and they're open to candidates with a variety of majors. "We tend to find that people with more quantitative backgrounds do do a little bit better, but we've had great success with history majors, English majors, all sorts," recruiter David Juong said.
A 2011 survey found 58 percent of UC Berkeley graduates found jobs in business and finance and 64 percent stayed in the Bay Area. A recent national survey found employers expect to hire 10 percent more college graduates this year than last. Still, some jobseekers are a bit nervous about what's really out there for them. "The only thing we can do is just to look on the bright side and hopefully, we'll get something," said student Eric Pai.
One other note for candidates: Recruiters say if you really want to be successful, it's time to get off the computer and get out and do some old-fashioned face-to-face networking.