Outlook brighter for 2011 graduates

January 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The latest job outlook looks bright for this year's college graduates. Companies are once again hiring and you don't have to be an engineering specialist to get a job.

Nationwide, tens of thousands of college students are already starting their job search.

"I hope I can get a job right out of college. We'll see," says Chelsea Verhasselt from the class of 2011.

That's what students who attented Santa Clara University's job fair Wednesday are hoping for. This year 70 companies were present with jobs to offer.

"Employers are more convinced that the economy is on a steady path upwards," says Santa Clara Career Center director Elspeth Rossetti.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the 2011 job outlook for new graduates is good. Companies plan to hire 13.5 percent more graduates with a bachelor's degree than last year.

"The future is bright at McAfee and we are doing a lot of hiring right now," says Deirdre Gaynor from McAfee.

Big names like McAfee, Apple, and Lockheed Martin were represented at the job fair, and some want their future hires to have very specific skills. But these companies aren't just looking for techies. Students with degrees in social sciences, languages, and arts also have a chance at a high tech job.

"It's not just about your academic discipline, it's also being able to talk about your personal traits, the soft skills that you have, the things that aren't evident from the degree you're granted," says Rossetti.

"You can take a marketing background and do something else with it," says Jonathan Ford from Maxim Integrated Products.

"It's a little rough right now, I've applied to maybe 30 jobs at least," says Leslie Henry from the class of 2011.

Regardless, many students are still having a hard time landing a job. Some say staying in school longer may be the best way to deal with the situation.

ABC7is sponsoring a HIREvent job fair with the Job Journal two weeks from now. It's on Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the South San Francisco Convention Center on South Airport Boulevard.