Feb 022003
Authors: J.J. Babb

Never fear, graduates: there is hope.

According to CollegeGrad.com’s annual Top Entry Level Employers survey, entry-level hiring is up 4 percent for 2003.

“It could even go higher than that; we see a lot of movement in a lot of different fields,” said Brett Beal, associate director of employer relations at the Career Center.

With the downturn of the economy, many large companies face layoffs or hiring freezes, but medium-sized (1,000-10,000 employees) and smaller (under 1,000 employees) companies show a slight increase in hiring this spring, according to CollegeGrad.com.

While health care and government services still show the strongest hiring demand, accounting, engineering, business and management fields have remained strong.

“The high-tech sector is starting to turn around in pockets of the industry,” Beal said.

This may be the case, but for Greg Koch of Anderson Consulting Engineers in Fort Collins, this is not reality.

“We occupy a pretty small niche in the civil engineering field,” Koch said. “We’re not planning on seeing a lot of growth. We don’t add people very often.”

But Koch does remain optimistic about smaller firms doing more of the hiring than large companies.

“The larger ones are hurting more because of the nature of what they do,” Koch said.

For small accounting companies in Fort Collins, the outlook may be brighter.

“I went from one employee to two, so mine went up 50 percent,” said Doug Williams of Williams and Co., PC, an accounting firm in Fort Collins.

According to Williams, accounting services see an increase in business as problems with the government occur, such as tax issues.

“Demand for accounting service is deliberate; in other words, requirements of government services increases our business all the time,” Williams said. “I haven’t really seen a lot of difference. (The accounting industry’s) not really off by the downward economy.”

Although the jobs may be out there, the market does not look very prosperous for graduating business management Kristin Simpson.

“The economy is bad right now and there don’t seem to be too many jobs available,” Simpson said. “There are a lot of people in my major and there will be a lot of competition in that field.”

There is help available, though. On Feb. 13 in the Lory Student Center’s Main Ballroom, more than 100 employers, targeting all majors, will be participating in the Career Fair, hosted by the Career Center. The fair will last from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information contact the Career Center at 491-5707.

Beal also offers students some advice on making themselves more marketable in today’s job world.

“The key is to diversify,” Beal said. “Students need to look at three or four career paths they could take.”

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