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Job market still tight ... but, light at the end of the tunnel? The Black Collegian's industry by industry assessment of the job outlook for the class of 1993.

You know things are tight when a decrease in the rate of decline of job opportunities is touted as a positive indicator that things are looking up. But, it seems, when collegiate hiring indicators virtually hit rock bottom--as they have the past three years--the only way to go is up.

According to the 1992-93 Recruiting Trends, the 22nd annual edition, by Dr. L. Patrick Sheetz, director of Michigan State's Collegiate Employment Research Institute, "New college graduates in 1992-93 should experience less decline in job opportunities. While graduates still face a tight job market, the decrease in hiring quotas, just 2.1 percent from 1991-92 to 1992-93, is substantially smaller than decreases of the past three years: 10 percent in 1991-92, 9.8 percent in 1990-91, and 13.3 percent in 1989-90." This year Recruiting Trends surveyed 504 businesses, industries, and government agencies that employ new college grads. Notes Dr. Sheetz, who also serves as Michigan State's assistant director of Career Development and Placement Services, "1992-93 graduates can find hope in the fact that substantial additional erosion is not expected, and furthermore, some improvement is anticipated in late 1993."

But as Business Week (Feb. 22, 1993) poignantly points out that over the course of this recession, "Corporate America has developed a deep, and perhaps abiding, reluctance to hire.... All across the business spectrum, the motto is: Do more with less." The "more" is to increase productivity and bottom-line growth; the "less" is, unfortunately, hiring fewer new employees.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, economic recovery has already begun (a modest 2.2 percent growth since March 1991), but this recession, the worst in over three decades, has fostered an extremely cautious, wait-and-see posture by corporate America. "Once companies see more convincing evidence that the recovery won't stall..., they'll be more likely to start adding new workers again," notes Business Week. A glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel?

Patience and compromise may be the best virtues for today's new job seekers. Trends' surveyed employers advised college grads to not give up, "to search harder, especially in areas not directly related to their major field of study.... New graduates must learn to market themselves more effectively, become more aggressive in their job searches, and be prepared to present their best face to prospective employers."

Some compromising new job seekers may look to temp firms to tide them over until their ship of choice comes in. Business Week notes: "Over the last year, employment by temporary help agencies has soared by a staggering 240,000 workers." This way companies get the help they may need without incurring rising benefits costs (a 17 percent increase).

Even in the midst of these lean times there are a few bright spots. Recruiting Trends highlights some hiring increases in the following employer categories: communications/telecommunications; lumber/wood products; glass, packaging and allied products; agribusiness; food processing; engineering research/consulting; construction; merchandising/retailing.

Trends also highlights the academic majors most frequently requested by their surveyed employers: accounting, chemistry, all engineering, computer science, data processing, business/finance, hospitality management, liberal arts, retailing/marketing, mathematics, nursing, and occupational/physical therapy.

Those job seekers who like to look down the road a piece should know two words: healthcare and environment. Trends' section subtitled "New and Emerging Occupations" is just chocked full of allied health-related and environment/ecology-related occupations.

Starting salaries will only increase by a skimpy 1.3 percent, according to Trends. Chemical engineers once again reap the highest starting pay ($40,173), followed by mechanical engineers ($35,619), electrical engineers ($35,141), industrial engineers ($32,574), computer scientists ($31,572), civil engineering ($29,592), nursing ($29,452), and physics ($29,367).

In this assessment of the job outlook for the Class of '93, we've focused on several broad industry categories. We'll describe each category, capsule what the job outlook is like in each, and offer commentary from corporate recruiters, professionals, and other noted experts to help today's African-American collegians gain that extra edge in today's tight job market. Good luck!

Accounting/Public Accounting

Industry Description: The accounting industry involves the preparation and analysis of financial reports and audits that provide clients with the information they need to make financial decisions.

Job Outlook: Even though many of the major accounting firms surveyed by Trends plan to decrease hiring by a modest 6.8 percent, things still look pretty good for accounting grads, as a plethora of companies, big and small, need top accounting talent to monitor the bottom line. Starting salaries for accountants are up slightly to $27,566. While not completely recession proof, accounting still holds its own in tough times.

Professional Comments: Leading career experts, Drs. Ronald and Caryl Krannich, authors of The Best Jobs for the 1990s, state: "More accountants and auditors will be needed to set up books and prepare taxes as the number of businesses increases and the complexity of financial information required grows. Faster than average job growth is expected with the number of jobs expected to increase between 1990 and 2005."

Aerospace

Industry Description: The aerospace industry is responsible for designing, developing, and testing commercial and military aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. New technologies in defense systems, commercial aviation, and space exploration are also developed.

Job Outlook: Things look downright horrid for the struggling aerospace industry. Trends forecasts a whopping 39.9 percent decrease from an equally dismal 1992. NASA programs may be the only oasis in this dismal desert.

Professional Comments: Mai Nguyen, personnel management specialist, Federal Aviation Administration, states all too succinctly: "The employment outlook is not too good for the aerospace industry." Associated Press business writer Patricia Lamiell explains, "Military cutbacks and hardships in the commercial airline industry have shut down the market for new aerospace engineers."

Automotive

Industry Description: The automotive industry involves the design, development, manufacture, distribution, and sale of cars, trucks, and other vehicles for private and commercial use.

Job Outlook: While things still look dismal for America's Big Three, it's not as bad as a couple of years ago. The shock of the massive layoffs may have diminished. Trends reports a 29.5 percent decrease in new college hires. Astute job seekers will look to some of the foreign competition for opportunities.

Professional Comments: Doug Draper, college relations coordinator, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, USA, Inc., Georgetown, KY: "Toyota in Georgetown, KY is expanding its facility.... Total employment will increase from 4,400 to 6,000 by late 1994. Although the majority of these new positions will be for production personnel, there will still be plenty of opportunities for entry-level college graduates. TMM will need graduates in mechanical, electrical, chemical, civil, and industrial engineering; computer science/information systems; environmental engineering; accounting/finance; and business."

Banking/Financial

Industry Description: The banking/financial industry is a source of capital for any enterprise from a family home to a company's production plant. Extension of credit to businesses and government is a major function of some banks. Other financial activities include retail banking services to individuals (checking and savings accounts, credit cards, home mortgages); trust and investment services; operation/administrative services.

Job Outlook: "Jobs in finance and banking, except for technical and back-office jobs, are still hard to come by," notes Associated Press' Lamiell. Trends' surveyed employers report a 13.1 percent decrease in new college hires. Business Week reports that insurance and commercial banking institutions lost nearly 50,000 jobs last year. The industry is climbing back, but the going will be slow.

Professional Comments: Tom Barnes, vice president, Employee Relations, Associates Corporation of North America: "Today's tight job market will make it particularly challenging for new job seekers. I recommend that students focus on getting on board with a successful company that offers well-developed training opportunities. Training and good job performance will open doors to success. Opportunities are growing in consumer and commercial lending. Most companies offer specialized courses and on-the-job training both of which allow growth into management positions."

T. Gordon Welton, human resources representative, The Principal Financial Group: "Although hiring in this industry is not brisk, we have experienced steady growth and have ongoing career opportunities in accounting, auditing, actuarial, case management/utilization review, group insurance and retirement plan underwriting, information systems, securities, commercial real estate, and residential mortgages. We are also continually developing new and challenging internship opportunities for college juniors."

Chemicals

Industry Description: The chemical industry is involved in the research, development, and production of chemicals and related products for industrial and consumer use.

Job Outlook: Once again, "limited hiring" is the mode in which we find the chemical industry. Slow economic recovery has forced the chemical companies to proceed cautiously in bringing in new people. Recruiting Trends highlights a 10.7 percent decrease in new college hires.

Professional Comments: Richard T. Koffenberger, senior college relations supervisor, E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co.: "Like most years, there are disciplines in which we have a much stronger interest--such as chemical and environmental engineers--and functions where there is more widespread need--such as process control and environmental engineering. The good news is that '93 should bring some economic growth which we hope will translate into a limited number of new jobs.

"None of us will have the employment opportunities as great as we once had. The recession has been a product of the global economy, but the workforce reductions are more a product of internal cultural and structural changes designed to make American industry more globally competitive. Persons in the job market are competing in a national and in some cases an international pool of talent, not just with your peers from your campus or region."

Computers/Information

Industry Description: The computer information industry involves the development, manufacture, installation, and servicing of computing, information processing, and office automation products and services.

Job Outlook: The computer biz continues its roller-coaster ride, slightly up this year--if you talk to the right folks--after a lean 1992, which saw some 35,000 jobs lost in the computer equipment/semiconductors segment, according to Business Week. Ironically, the recession has boosted the industry by pushing many small companies to forego hiring in favor of PC equipment purchasing. "By adding a computer system, they can increase gross revenue without adding a person," says Aaron Goldberg, CEO of InfoCorp, a computer market research company.

Professional Comments: Yvonne Craycroft, diversity program manager, Apple Computer, Inc.: "The occupational category in greatest demand in both the computer industry and at Apple Computer is for computer scientists and electrical engineers. Students should learn as much as they can about the particular company they are interested in working for and understand the types of skill sets that company looks for. They should make sure those skills are highlighted on the resume. Then, they should identify a specific person in the company and send a resume directly to that person and follow-up with a phone call."

Electronics

Industry Description: The electronics industry develops, manufactures, and services equipment and systems such as radios, sonar, television, industrial and medical measuring/control devices, computers, and navigational equipment.

Job Outlook: While Trends' surveyed employers project a 13.4 percent decrease in new hires for the Class of '93, better times may be just over "the next hill," as a number of chip and software makers will look to expand staffs in late '93 and early '94, according to Business Week. Good things may come to those who can wait.

Professional Comments: As Thomas Lawrence, manager, University Relations and Minority Recruitment at Honeywell, Inc. noted in the JOURNAL of the NTA (Winter 1993): "About 75 new hires are expected over the next year in design and development engineering, production engineering, and software engineering. These projections reflect a general outlook of 'limited opportunities' in the electronics industry."

Government

Industry Description: Employment in municipal, state, and federal agencies and departments.

Job Outlook: President Clinton's new $31 billion jobs plan will have some far-reaching implications here--positive or negative depending on which areas of government service you are looking to enter. The hot buttons are healthcare, environment, human resources/social services.

Professional Comments: Drs. Ronald and Caryl Krannich: "While government at all levels will experience some cutbacks in personnel, the trend is to expand the public service in response to population growth. Within government at the state and local level, opportunities will be especially good for individuals in criminal justice and human/social services. At the federal level, we expect opportunities to expand in the areas of health services, criminal justice, environment, and energy."

Hospitality

Industry Description: The hospitality industry is made up of hotels and motels that provide lodging and service to paying guests, and restaurants and food service organizations that prepare and serve meals through lodging institutions or independently.

Job Outlook: The hospitality industry has boomed so dramatically for so long that this year's 8.8 percent decrease in new hires hits more like a leveling off that an actual drop. Hospitality management is still an excellent career choice, especially on the leisure side as travel and tourism are showing signs of budding, long-term growth, nationally and internationally.

Professional Comments: Harold Martin and Louise Otey, recruiting administrators, Shoney's Inc.: "Actually, the position of counter personnel is the one we seek to fill most often. Shoney's Inc. has always held with the policy of promoting from within; therefore most of our top executives began their career 'at the bottom.' The vice president of operations for the Captain D's division started in a part-time counter position while attending college. Our chief operating officer came to work at Shoney's bussing tables. For those who are willing to commit themselves to the values upon which the company has prospered, that same opportunity exists. We have developed a covenant with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which includes annual goals for the company in providing business and career opportunities with African Americans and other minorities."

Natural Resources/Environment

Industry Description: The natural resources/environment industry is involved in the development, use, maintenance, and replenishment of agricultural, energy, and forest products and processes.

Job Outlook: This category is one of this year's brightest. New college hires in agribusiness are projected to rise 7.5 percent, in forest products, 34 percent, notes Recruiting Trends. All signs point to wide open opportunity in this expanding segment of the economy.

Professional Comments: Patricia J. Davis, senior human resources specialist, Waste Management, Inc.: "The occupational categories that are in greatest demand in our industry are civil, mechanical, environmental, and chemical engineers."

Tyrone Taylor, recruiting specialist, Minority Affairs, CH2M Hill, Inc.: "The employment outlook in the environmental engineering industry is positive for the Class of 1993. Renewed interest in environmental clean-up opens doors for African Americans who are looking to pursue challenging careers in the environmental field. Concerns over depleting natural resources, as well as pollution of our air, water, and land, have created a sense of urgency to find alternatives. As a result, corporations and government agencies in the industry are seeking new ideas, innovations and energy to assist in this effort which African Americans in the field can provide."

Raymond S. Brinkmeyer, manager, Recruiting, Quality & Training, DowElanco: "Highly qualified chemists, biologists, and biochemists are always in demand in this industry. Also, openings for computer analysts continue to exist. At DowElanco we are looking to fill our openings with a diverse population of employees."

Pharmaceutical/Healthcare

Industry Description: The pharmaceutical/healthcare industry is responsible for discovering, producing, and distributing the many drugs and healthcare services offered in pharmacies and medical institutions.

Job Outlook: This giant, multi-billion dollar, global industry continues to flourish in the best of health. People still get sick and need health and wellness services no matter what the economy. The same globalization that has forced some industries to regroup is the very fuel for the health business. Many of the best and brightest will find lucrative positions here.

Professional Comments: Tim Hall, management associate, HR Planning & Development, SmithKline Beecham: "With the tightening of the overall job market over the past few years, companies who have maintained active recruiting have been the benefactors. Their chance of hiring the best students has increased. Since there are fewer employers competing for quality candidates, recruiters who come to campus will be even more selective than ever. As with any market-driven industry, the healthcare industry depends on a well-trained and competent sales and marketing division. Historically, sales and marketing have been the primary focus of many companies. With continuous developments in industry and technology, companies are giving more attention to two growing fields--management information systems and human resources."

Jane Sharrocks, nurse recruiter, The Johns Hopkins Hospital: "Registered nurses will be in demand, especially in critical care and operating room settings. Students should be well prepared--have a professional resume, interview early, and obtain related work experience while a student."

Jetola E. Anderson, human resources consultant, Sterling Winthrop, Inc.: "The pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest growing in today's economy. With rapid developments in technology and scientific discovery, it presents a promising and challenging opportunity for the graduates of 1993. Students with strong theoretical and practical backgrounds in the life sciences are now standing on the horizon of exciting prospects. Challenging research is being carried out for therapeutic approaches to AIDS, cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, etc. Opportunities will exist for bench-level scientists in many aspects of research."

Retailing

Industry Description: The retailing industry involves the marketing, selling, and distributing of goods and services for business and consumer use.

Job Outlook: With Recruiting Trends reporting a modest 1.8 percent increase in new college hires, retailing emerges as a small bright spot, but a good indicator of overall economic and job opportunity improvement. When times are good, retail management offers some lucrative opportunities.

Professional Comments: Walter L. Granison, assistant director, Human Resources, F.W. Woolworth Co.: "The majors most in demand in the retailing industry and at my company are business and retailing."

Dorothy Davis, consultant, Personnel Recruitment, Walgreen Co.: "Our company is recession-resistant--when the economy seems to falter, we continue to flourish. We are a $7.5 billion company offering more opportunity to African-American professionals than ever before. With expansion plans calling for 1200 new stores over the next eight years, we'll need quality managers and pharmacists to run them."

Telecommunications

Industry Description: The telecommunications industry involves the development, manufacture, and marketing of systems and equipment for voice, data, and video transmission.

Job Outlook: The outlook in telecommunications is, in a word, excellent, as Trends reports a 44.2 increase in new college hires over last year. Notes Business Week, "Investment in information technology has surged 31 percent over the last two years, an enormous substitution of capital for labor."

Professional Comments: Drs. Ronald and Caryl Krannich: "New occupations for the 1990s and beyond will center around information, energy, high-tech.... They promise to create a new occupational structure and vocabulary relating to computers, robotics, lasers, and fiber optics. And as these fields begin to apply new technologies to developing new innovations, they in turn will generate other new occupations in the 21st century."

Textiles

Industry Description: The textile industry is involved in the research, development, and production of textiles and specialty fabrics for business and consumer use.

Job Outlook: With consumers having less discretionary income for clothing, fabrics, and other related items and with businesses doing more with less, this industry has been negatively impacted, which means fewer jobs for new grads. Trends reports a 33.3 percent decrease in new college hires from last year.

Professional Comments: Shedrick Williams, manager, EEO/Recruitment, Collins & Aikman Corporation: "In the textile industry, industrial engineering, textile engineering, textile chemistry, and operations management are those occupational categories most in demand. Students who excel in these areas and who become computer literate will be well prepared for the working world of textiles."

Utilities

Industry Description: The utilities industry regulates the use of gas, electricity, water, and in some areas, telephone service, to paying individuals and business customers.

Job Outlook: The recession cutback blues have had their way in the quizzical utilities industry, as Trends reports a 28.6 percent decrease in new college hires. Competition for the few slots available should be stiff. The engineers, physicists, computer scientists, and other hi-tech types that usually find work here may have to look elsewhere.

Professional Comments: As stated in the JOURNAL of the NTA by Commonwealth Edison's Mary Kay McMahon, supervisor of professional placement: "We are undergoing a reduction in force, so hiring is very limited. Industry wide, I predict consistently moderate growth."

These are certainly not the best of times for new college graduates seeking to enter the world of work. But, as has often been said, the worst times can raise to the top the best people. Patience and original, creative thinking are a new grad's best assets. As Dr. Sheetz states: "While hiring decreases are beginning to stabilize, new college graduates must be as flexible, organized, and devoted to job hunting as ever if they hope to find suitable employment. Patience and persistence are crucial in any job campaign--especially in times of economic instability. Dedication is also essential. Often one person's extra effort can help an employer make an otherwise difficult decision between several equally qualified candidates."
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Annual Jobs Issue
Author:Kazi-Ferrouillet, K.
Publication:The Black Collegian
Date:Mar 1, 1993
Words:3520
Previous Article:Making the transition from college to the world of work.
Next Article:Careers in retailing.
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