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January 28, 1994 - Image 3

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-28

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 28,

*Payngthe
Abrighter future faces this year's graduates and
tomorrow's professionals as the market slowly
improves. But competition remains high and
success is only available to those who are prepared.

8

I

f

r.

I -L

44
.0

Uncertain career goals and an over-
whelming amount of stress have cre-
ated a bittersweet vision of the future
for LSA senior Meghan Carey. The.
long-awaited day of freedom is just
around the corner but with three gradu-
ate school applications still unfin-
ished, the English major's thoughts
are far from celebratory.
"I feel a sense of pressure all the
time," she said. "I'm busy with classes
right now but then I think, 'Come
April 30, I'm not a student anymore."'
Carey and more than 5,000 other
bachelor's degree recipients will leave
the relative comfort of their under-
graduate years behind this spring and
enter the trials and tribulations of the
"real world." Some will follow their
paths to various graduate schools, and
others will jump immediately in to
the competitive job market.
But despite their post-graduation
plans, all seniors are asking them-
selves one burning question: Am I
going to find a job?
The big picture
The concern is valid in view of the
decline in job opportunities during
the past few years. Although the eco-
nomic recession officially ended in
1991, recovery has been slow and
some employers are continuing to
down-size.
However, many students may be
relieved to know that the past year has
shown some signs of improvement
for college graduates as employers
begin to cautiously emerge from their
protective shells.
The Northwestern Lindquist-
Endicott Report for 1994, which sur-
veys 264 business and industrial or-
ganizations annually, reported some
favorable signs. Fifty-six percent of
employers surveyed said their
company's performance improved in
1993 compared to 1992, and 64 per-
cent said they expect performance to
be even better next year.
Terri LaMarco, associate director
for employer relations at the
University's Career Planning & Place-
ment (CP&P) called these statistics
encouraging.
"Employers definitely seem to be
more optimistic then they have in the
past few years,"she said.
This year's bachelor's degree re-
cipients will benefit from the more
confident outlook, with hiring de-
mands expecting to increase by 2 per-
cent and starting salaries improving
by a slight 2.4 percent, according to
the report .
But employers' on-campus re-
cruitment, which many students see
as a tangible sign of the state of the job
market, has experienced a significant
decline since 1986 with only a small
indication of improvement for next
year. But LeMarco emphasized that
smaller recruitment activity is not nec-
essarily indicative of a smaller job
market.
"You'll find, for example, that
while the national numbers on re-
cruitment have been; decreasing, the
University has actually experienced
an increase of on-campus recruiters
by more than 10 percent in the past
two years," she said. She also urged
students to keep in mind that job mar-
ket projections can be somewhat am-
biguous, often varying from source to
.source.
"You'll find that the more research

that you do on the topic, the more
contradictions you'll encounter be-
cause the economy is always chang-
ing," she said. "Students should there-
fore focus on what the information
means to them and how to be com-
petitive in the field they choose to go
into."
Rethinking the
future
Since the late 1980s, many stu-
dents have been reexamining their
career goals, and some are continuing
to do so despite the positive projec-
tions.
.s . nnlw of.-. eh.dpnt q~l

sistant director for pre-professional
services at Career Planning and Place-
ment.
Law school figures also reveal
the effects of an economy that has
been slow to recover.
The 1994 Pre-Law Action Report
by the Law School Admission Ser-
vices states that the number of Uni-
versity of Michigan students apply-
ing to law school has been slightly
declining since 1991 with a 1.8-per-
cent decrease this past year. National
figures have also experienced a simi-
lar pattern with nearly 6,000 fewer
applicants for the fall of 1993 than the
previous year.
Lewis Rice, assistant to the dean
for student affairs, cited the economy's
impact as a major reason for the de-
cline.
"It is true that law school numbers
frequently reflect the economy," he
said. "I think most people feel that
some of the interest (in the law pro-
fession) has decreased."
CP&P's Mecozzi also acknowl-
edged that the downward trend ap-
pears to be a result of an uncertain job
market for law school graduates.
"A lot of the (law) firms haven't
been hiring as they have in the past,"
she said. "I think for the first time in
the past couple of years, we have seen
entry salaries for the law profession
going down."
While law schools experienced a
decline in applicants over the past
few years, the national number of
medical school applicants reached a
record high this past fall with 42,808
applications submitted. As economic
uncertainty grasped the nation in the
late 1980s, more and more students
began turning to professions in medi-
cine as a source of future stability.
According to a 1993 report from
the Association of American Medical
Colleges, the number of University of
Michigan applicants nearly doubled
between 1989 and 1993 with 629 stu-
dents this past year vying for one of
the 16,500 medical school slots avail-
able in the United States.
"The profession has become in-
credibly attractive even despite na-
tional health care issues and the insta-
bility of the economy," Rice said.
"There's no question that in the medi-
cal profession there is an opportunity
for a very high income and income is
always an issue."

"Please (tell) students that are
graduating this year NOT to be dis-
couraged by the job market," she
wrote. "It's really not as bad as one
may think - after all, we're U of M
grads - Creme of the Crop! If noth-
ing more, we have that going for us."
Is Shapiro's message just an empty
vote of confidence?
LaMarco doesn't seem to think
so.
"I feel that U of M students are
faring well and I don't see that fact
changing in the future," she said. "(The
higher recruitment activity), for ex-
ample, gives an idea of the strength of
a Michigan education."
The increasing on-campus recruit-
ment amidst an uncertain job market
is not the only indication of the
University's tenacity. The ratio of
acceptance rates to law and medical
schools remains high, and well above
the national averages.
According to the Law School Ad-
mission Services, 79 percent of Uni-
versity of Michigan students were
accepted to one or more law schools
last year compared to only 47 percent
of national applicants.
University of Michigan students
who applied to medical school have
also seen higher levels of acceptance
rates - even in light of the tougher
competition that has emerged over
the past few years. Last year, 59 per-
cent of University of Michigan stu-
dents were accepted while 44 percent
of national applicants were offered
admission.
Although figures are not available
for graduate school acceptance rates,
Rice expressed confidence in the
University's ability to prepare stu-
dents for this path as well.
"I don't think there's any doubt
that the University produces a large
number of students that go on to gradu-
ate school," he said.
Getting your foot
in the door
And while a degree from a presti-
gious institution helps, the
University's reputation is by no means
a guarentee for future success. What
students do during their four (or five)
years on campus counts - and that
means a lot more than just earning
good grades.
"If all a person has on a resume is

During the past few years, medical and law schools across the country have
seen an overall rise in aplications. Here is the number of applicants
nationwide. Underneath is the percentage of University students accepted
to one or more schools compared to national acceptance rates.

40000
35000
30000
25000

Medical Scho

.".~ ~.~I
2---

1991-92 1992-93
49% 44%
67% 59%

PHOTO MANIPULATION BY EVAN PETIE/Daiy
from employers who appreciate the
depth (of a liberal arts major) because
if you have been taught to analyze
then you can be taught to understand
how their company works."
Learning another language and
becoming computer literate can also
enhance a person's marketability in
today's global market and technol-
ogy-oriented society.
"In my area, being computer-lit-
erate is one of the most important
assets," Suhay said. "You have to be
able to work on a (personal computer)
including spread sheets."
Intership experience is also a plus.
According to the Northwestern
Lindquist-Endicott Report, 26 per-
cent of all college hires came from
internship programs in 1993 com-
pared to 17 percent in 1992. Sixty
percent of the employers surveyed
plan to expand their intership pro-
gramming.
"Internships are becoming increas-
ingly important," LaMarco said."Stu-
dents with this experience have' a
greater chance for job opportunities,
especially with a company they in-
terned for."
Mecozzi stressed, however, that
students should intern for the right
reasons.
"You should do it not because it's
going to look good on your resume
but because it will provide you with
experience," she said.
Even with the proper preparation,
many students will only be successful
in their job searches if they are remain
oven-minded and maintain ralitic

- nn L

20000 1987-88
National 57%
U' Students 73%

1988-89
80%

1989-90
59%
77%

1990-91
55%
72%

100000
80000
60000

Law School I

40000 -
20000 t
0 1987.88

1988-89 1989-90
..rn ..

} 1990.91 1991-92 1992-93
A- ...A-

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