Despite difficult job market, opportunities still abound for college grads
Kaleigh Chabra places glasses on Duncan, a patient at the Sunrise Pet Clinic, on Friday. Chabra works as a veterinarian technician and is being trained on how to use a laser to assist in the healing process for scar treatment, arthritis and spinal injuries for dogs.
Graduation can be an intimidating time for seniors, especially when it comes to finding employment. In a recent poll conducted by AfterCollege, 76 percent of new graduates said they had not found a post-college job, despite doing internships.
Job opportunities are still out there for graduating seniors, however. Eileen McGarry, director of Career Services, said the UA’s Career Services helps facilitate connections between students and employers.
Career Services organizes job and internship fairs on campus to help students find on-the-job experience, she said. It also helps students build resumes, host interviews and compile job listings in an online database.
The job market is more solid now than it has been in recent years, McGarry said, and the number of job postings for UA students has increased. She said she has also seen an increase in companies requesting interns.
However, the job market is still competitive. The greatest demand in the job market is in the STEM field, especially engineering, and certain business fields, she said.
McGarry said it’s important for students looking to begin a successful career to start early and get experience in the field before they graduate, either through internships or part-time work.
“We see it as when you start here, it’s the start of your career,” McGarry said.
Kaleigh Chabra is only a junior in her pre-veterinary science program, but she has been working in the field for three years. She has been working at Sunrise Pet Clinic since 2011.
Her job as a vet technician requires her to do a little bit of everything. She draws blood and takes X-rays, but is also responsible for administrative and custodial work. She also performs acupuncture and laser work on the animals.
Chabra interned at a pet clinic in New Mexico before coming to the UA. She said her training at pet clinics has taught her how to perform vital procedures.
Chabra said she plans to work with animals until she starts her career after veterinary school, which she will apply to after her graduation in December 2015. Sometimes, working and going to school at the same time can be a challenge, she said.
“It’s a lot of work,” Chabra said. “It’s really hard to manage time with homework, work [and] free time.”
Chabra said her time at Sunrise Pet Clinic has been good work experience that will help her get into vet school. Despite the challenges she faces as a working student, Chabra said she can see herself working in veterinary sciences for the rest of her life.
“It’s worth it,” she said. “It’s good to have goals.”
Some students choose to forgo the job search and focus on gaining real-world experience. Julia Liatti, a philosophy senior, is joining the Peace Corps after graduation.
Liatti said she always had the Peace Corps in mind. In her sophomore year, she went to an informational meeting put on by the Peace Corps and began researching on her own by reading blogs. She will undergo three months of training and work with the Peace Corps for two years.
Liatti doesn’t know where in the world she will be stationed yet, but said that she will be working with youth development. She said she thinks her experience with the Peace Corps, such as in teaching English, will help her find a career later.
Chloe Buser, a studio art senior, said her career goals changed during her time at the UA. While she was originally most interested in creating album covers and posters, she is now more interested in graphic design and visual communications.
Buser said she anticipates some challenges in finding a job in her field.
“Art jobs are the hardest to find because art is subjective,” Buser said. “You don’t know who likes what. The hardest thing is getting your work out there.”
Buser said that the art job market has become more technology-based while her art background is in painting and drawing. In order to compensate for the changing job market, Buser plans on going back to school and earning a technical graphic design certificate from Pima Community College.
Though she is financially stable at the moment, Buser said she worries about the future. She is considering graduate school and looking at job markets in other states.
“[Art] is a dying career,” Buser said. “Not everyone wants to spend all their money on art. They have more important things to buy.”