Graduates Prepare For Job Market

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. 5-3-12

Graduation weekend has arrived in our area with thousands of students ready to receive that important diploma.

For many, the employment picture isn't as clear as they had hoped for. FAMU senior Michael Jefferson will receive his bachelor's degree in environmental sciences Saturday. It's a moment four years in the making.

"It's finished and now everything can really begin," said Jefferson.

But that moment of excitement when recent graduates get their diploma at FAMU and Florida State may be short lived because the job market is just as gloomy as the weather we've been having.

According to the non-partisan group Generation Opportunity, the unemployment rate for those 18-29 is 16.1%. That's almost ten percent higher than the national average.

"A lot of people are recognizing how competitive the labor market is right now and because of that you want to make yourself as competitive as possible."

This forces many students to look into another degree instead of going right out into the workforce.

"I know a lot of people who graduated last year who spent a year maybe moving back home and maybe trying to find jobs in bigger cities and maybe outside of Tallahassee that have decided to start applying at grad schools at FSU and places like that," said FSU senior Kyle Patterson.

And with thousands of students graduating this spring, the pool of applicants becomes even bigger.

Carlie Brown is working on her masters degree at FSU after already earning her undergraduate degree. She's one of the fortunate young professionals with a job.

Brown says networking helped get her current position at a local financial group.

"It's all about who you know and who you meet," said Brown. "Who can potentially help you to build your way up the ladder."

Lyndsi Caldwell will get her masters degree in health care administration Saturday at FAMU. It took her months of applying while still in school before she landed a job at a local hospital.

"I started a long time ago back in January applying for positions," said Caldwell. "Literally, that was my job. Applying for jobs everyday. So I think preparation is key."

Florida State's graduation ceremonies are as followed at the Civic Center.
May 3, 2013 7:30 p.m.
May 4, 2013 9:00 a.m.
May 4, 2013 2:00 p.m

Florida A&M's graduation ceremonies are as followed at the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium
May 4, 2013 9:00 a.m.
May 4, 2013 2:00 p.m.

Tallahassee Community College's graduation ceremony will be Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

Valdosta State University's graduation ceremonies are as followed at the PE Complex.
May 4, 2013 10:00 a.m.
May 4, 2013 1:00 p.m.
May 4, 2013 4:00 p.m.

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