College Grads Try To Find Jobs In Tough Economy

By: Christine Kennedy
By: Christine Kennedy

Graduation at East Carolina University is next Friday and over 3,500 students will be handed their purple and gold diploma--but with the job market at its worst in over 30 years, where will graduates go?

According to, 22 percent of all employers across America are cutting their hiring of college graduates. To make matters worse, North Carolina’s unemployment rate rose to 10.8 in March.

Brittany Norman is one of 3,561 students graduating from ECU this year. Norman says she has been trying for months to land her first job in counseling.

"With the economy the way it is, it's stressful. I mean it's really tough to try and find a job now."

Norman, like many students sought guidance from the university’s career center. Director Jim McAtee says he’s been “extremely busy” working with students. He and his staff developed a program called the, H.I.R.E.D (Helping Individuals Reach Employment Destination) program. Over 1,000 students have gone through this program, which allows students to participate in mock interviews.

McAtee says even though the job market is tough, college grads have a couple advantages.

“There are bonuses for companies to hire recent grads--one of them is training. They can train them the way they want to train them. They're flexible, and not only that, quite honestly…someone who has 10 years of experience is going to be paid a little bit differently that someone fresh out of college."

East Carolina University will hold its commencement ceremony on Friday, May 8th inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

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  • by ECU Student on May 1, 2009 at 12:51 PM
    Hate to tell ya KIMO the Engineering graduates at ECU are having a tough time finding jobs. Hopefully things will get better.
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on May 1, 2009 at 09:07 AM
    I have some friends (a lil younger) that graduated from ECU in the BSA/MSA Accounting program at ECU, and they have told me that after graduation this December, that they were not able to find a job in the public accounting field and the demand for Accountants is nowhere as high as it used to be. One of them graduated this past December with that BSA/MSA degree, and still can't find a job in his field. He is now stuck with two part time jobs (bartender & helping his dad run his dad's farm). Another one of my friends who is graduating with the same degree has decided to take his education even one level further and got accepted into the PhD Accounting program at the University of Florida, because he could not find a job, after getting his Masters. Even my boss who is a CPA has told me that the economy has caused some stress to him and his family. When even demand for accountants goes down, then you know this economy better get better FAST before ppl start to kill others for money.
  • by Kimo Location: Belhaven on Apr 30, 2009 at 06:41 AM
    I would be willing to bet that those who took "real stuff" in college - like nursing, computer science, engineering, biiology, chemistry, physics and the like - are not having nearly as much trouble finding a job as those who took the "fun stuff" (read - easy). Surprise!!! And to all of you, Welcome to the real world.
  • by Mom of grad on Apr 30, 2009 at 04:22 AM
    Guess my empty nest will be full again. And we made the bedroom into a nice reading room after she went off to college.
  • by Anonymous Location: ECU_Student on Apr 29, 2009 at 05:27 PM
    Out of my class which is a small class around 15 - 20, only 3 have secured jobs. So I've decided to go to grad school since not many jobs are out there.
  • by T Location: Washington on Apr 29, 2009 at 04:35 PM
    With all that college, I say serve your country. It's not for everyone, but with a degree, you guys and gals can retire at a young age as a commisioned officer. Believe me, there are LOTS of advantages in being an officer.The pay / benefits are most excellent. Congrats to all graduating, and the best to all of you. GO PIRATES!!!!!!

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