Juan Whiting, Reporter, [email protected]
The Utah job market is looking better than ever with more than 477,000 jobs opening up as baby boomers start retiring and businesses continue to thrive, according to a study by Georgetown University.
Many students are already aware of the increased attention that Utah is getting from the business world, but the study further shows that all of this economic hype may add more motivation for students to finish their college education as more than 66% of these jobs will require postsecondary education or training.
Companies in Utah rely heavily on this large pool of strong, innovative, student population to stay competitive. UVU is adopting new strategies in order to provide students with the opportunities they need to compete in the growing job market.
“One thing UVU is ramping up is collecting better data about employers and our students and so we are using surveys from past students, advisory boards, and are in the process of creating a career council with faculty and advisors,” said Michael J. Snapp, director of the Career Development Center. “We want to have a more holistic approach to helping students.”
The goal is to leverage UVU students by actually getting them out into the job market, meeting employers and getting the experience they need—whether that is through the experiential education offered at UVU or through internships.
Snapp reminds students that UVU is not a placement agency and that at the end of the day it is the student’s responsibility for succeeding in the application and interview process. UVU offers the tools, resources, and most importantly the exposure to companies so that students are able to make the transition from school to work much more comfortably.
“It is easy to get caught up in school. I didn’t start looking for a job until my senior year of college,” said Tyler Nelson, employer relations coordinator at UVU.
The philosophy at UVU is that preparing to use the education gained at the university in future employment is as important as the education itself. Having the foresight to network and prepare for interviews can be very beneficial in future job searching.
“These baby boomers aren’t retiring from entry level jobs but it’s really a shift all around,” said Nelson.
He further explained that as people move up into those senior positions left behind by baby boomers, it leaves entry-level positions and sometimes internships open for students.
Both Nelson and Snapp agree that preparation is crucial and the bottom line is that the freshmen and sophomores who start looking to get into these positions before they become seniors will have the upper hand when they graduate.