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May 10, 2013 12:52 PM by Ryan Haarer

Job outlook points to positive for University of Arizona graduates

TUCSON - 6,000 students will get a diploma from the University of Arizona today. So what's next for these grads?

The University asks students to fill out a "Destination Survey" to get a feel of what these students have lined up for work. About half have responded and the early indicators are promising.

For senior Jacob Shirley things aren't as grim as they appear.

"The job outlook, I think there is a lot of negative stigma associated with it right now but there are a lot of good opportunities that have come up," said Shirley.

He's already got a job lined up teaching a language at an east coast university while he gets his masters and he's not alone.

"About 43 percent of our students are locked into plans. They are either employed with career related positions in their fields or moving on to graduate school," said Eileen McGarry, director of career services.

Those students consider themselves lucky as a survey from the national association of colleges and employers found companies plan to hire only two percent more college graduates than last year. U of A officials are not as pessimistic.

"The number of interviews has increased indicating the number of opportunities they have and the number of students they want to see for those opportunities is improving," said McGarry.

Career services stresses that students should take advantage of career fairs for a chance to speak directly with employers. Also, internships prove to be a great resume builder for companies looking for experience.

Jacob agrees. "I was a little worried. I was kind of intimidated my freshman year that I wasn't going to be able to get through it. The more involved I became with the different opportunities around campus, the more confident I became in my success around here."

Engineering and business majors are having the most success these days in terms of finding a job. The early destination surveys also indicate about a five percent salary increase for graduates this year.

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