NIU’s on-campus recruitment offers good job opportunities

By Frank Partipilo

NIU graduates with ambition to succeed in life, as well as polished communication skills, will have excellent chances of finding promising jobs, when they enter the work force, according to Gary Scott, director of NIU Career Planning and Placement.

Scott said he views job prospects for recent graduates as “very strong and better than the last couple of years.” The number of companies recruiting in the fall of 1988 rose 10 percent from the year before. At the end of last semester, NIU hosted the Great ‘88 Job Fair, at which another 90 companies appeared to recruit graduates.

Scott believes the trend of more job openings might be due to the relative strength of the economy. The biggest reason NIU graduates will hold an advantage in the current job market is NIU’s reputation, he said.

“NIU is in a good spot on the job market,” Scott said. “The campus is strategically located , and NIU students have a reputation for having a strong academic backgrounds as well as strong work ethics.”

Contrary to belief, recruiters aren’t seeking engineering and chemistry majors any more than students from other academic backgrounds.

“Engineering is a relatively new program and not many employers are recruiting at this moment,” Scott said. “As far as chemistry is concerned, a small number of students graduate from the program, and it doesn’t attract a large number of employers directly to the campus.”

Scott said new jobs in the United States are not developed by the larger “Fortune 500” companies, but by smaller companies in the northern Illnios region.

“The patterns of hiring people have changed,” Scott said. “Instead of the major companies doing the hiring, smaller companies are dominating more, including regional and national companies.”

Scott said one test of how well a university is regarded by employers, is how often employers recruit students at that university when job positions are scarce. At other universities throughout Illinois, the number of recruiting companies has decreased by fifty percent or more during recessive times, but NIU’s numbers have remained the same.

Scott said the trend for hiring and raising the salaries of NIU graduates should continue to rise in all academic fields, especially for students with strong interpersonal skills.

“In the health care fields, the demand for people has escalated beyond the pace that they are graduating,” he said. “Because of this need for people, students are much more selective about who they are interviewed by, and many excellent companies are not getting much response from graduates.”

“Society is emphasizing more technological and communication skills than industrial skills,” he said.

Scott outlined steps students could take to improve their communication skills. “Students should take their required communication course early, so they have time to take more classes that will help them refine skills that will enable them to easily relate to people.”