Graduating seniors enter a job seeker’s market

As seniors prepare to graduate, many are looking towards their next steps, whether that be entering the job market or continuing their education. Luckily for those seeking work, “being a student graduating right now, it’s a good time to be entering the job market,” according to Meredith Segur, a career coach for STEM majors and the assistant director of Calvin’s Career Center.

 Segur has worked at Calvin’s Career Center for 14 years, and in that time, national shifts in both the job market and the economy have impacted her work repeatedly. But the last two years have been the most eventful, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic: “A lot of that [change] is the trend toward more virtual recruiting on the employer’s side.” Though companies did occasionally recruit virtually prior to the pandemic, COVID-19 forced more employers to adapt to online options. These options may be here to stay; Segur said, “I think companies are finding they can save money by not traveling to different places.”

Though the situation is brighter for graduates right now, the initial upheaval caused by the pandemic was generally not positive for students looking for employment opportunities. Segur told Chimes that students lost internships or had a hard time finding them because “employers were waiting and seeing before they wanted to do any sort of hiring.” Katherine Post, a senior studying writing and communications, said that it was difficult for her to find a full-time summer job during the summer of 2020.

Post is currently looking for a digital marketing or social media management job and hasn’t had any trouble finding options. She told Chimes, “Most companies I have applied to want to find people who are ready to begin full-time work right now.”

Segur speculates that this might be due to a larger shift in the job market that the news cycle has labeled “the Great Resignation.” Within the last year or so, remarkable numbers of workers have voluntarily left their jobs; among these, Harvard Business Review found that the largest increase in resignation rates is among mid-career workers in their 30’s and 40’s. Segur said, “As these people move on to new roles, well then, there’s their openings,” which provide opportunities for new graduates.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers, which conducts a job outlook survey every year, has predicted that employers will hire at least 25