Students Seeking Jobs Hopeful Despite the Economy

Students Seeking Jobs Hopeful Despite the Economy

By: coopcom
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Student Job Hunters Hopeful Despite the Economy

Kelsey Newsham | OLC Host

Despite it being our home and native land, Canada’s economic struggles have, in part, been overshadowed by the latest activities in the United States. Bank and home foreclosures, rising and dropping stock markets and the infamous inauguration speech have blanketed the media.

While not in as dire a situation as our southern counterpart, Canada is facing issues of its own. According to Statistics Canada, December increased the jobless rate to 6.6 per cent, the highest since January 2006. With numbers over the twenty thousand mark for expected jobs lost during this difficult time, many soon-to-be university graduates are feeling the pressure.

Jessica Doherty, SFU Communication student and soon-to-be graduate, has begun to feel the effects of the economic situation. “I have a friend who has been hired twice and then told that the company was experiencing a hiring freeze and they would no longer be able to offer the position.”

Jessica adds, “I was told throughout university that there were lots of jobs available post graduation and that’s just not the case anymore.”

It is true –there are fewer jobs available, however, the news is not as grim as one would expect. Times have indeed changed, but there is hope for those looking for jobs straight out of university. Employers still must fill jobs to replace the retiring workforce despite the economy; they are simply seeking out employees who have a variety of skills including unique and specialty skills. To acquire these skills, students are looking to the Co-operative Education Program.

Sharon Lam, SFU Business Co-op student understands the need for Co-op now more than ever, “I was laid off from a long term, part-time job in December which made getting a Co-op work term for January much more crucial.” Sharon realized she needed a head start, “…I want to get as much work experience as I can before I have to look for a permanent position.”

The need and the opportunity for Co-op work has grown substantially since the turn in the economy. Those worried about their future, or those desiring to graduate with a degree and work experience under their belt are heading to register for Co-op.

And registering they are; in 2008, Work Integrated Learning experienced a 52 per cent increase in applications to the Co-operative Education Program. SFU’s most popular program; Business Co-op has seena 59 per cent increase in students seeking 2009 summer work terms. Muriel Klemetski, Director of Work Integrated Learning at SFU, recognizes the connection, “the sheer increase in student participation rates demonstrates students are thinking more about their transition to the workplace in levels we haven’t seen in close to a decade.”

The participation numbers not seen in a decade mirror an economy not seen since the 90’s – just over a decade ago. Again, there is hope; many companies and organizations are continuing to hire experienced workers. This gives graduates the opportunity to highlight to potential employers the various skills and experiences they accumulated through Co-operative education experiences. Recent graduates will also have access to increased responsibility as employers are asking their employees to spread themselves over a variety of tasks due to decreased staff.

Through the Co-operative Education program, students are more ready to face the jobs that are available to them. Jessica, for one, feels she is in a better position “…having completed five co-op terms, volunteered and made contacts my job future doesn’t seem as bleak because I have this experience. Had I not, I wouldn’t be as comfortable with the idea of graduating.”

It appears that hope and opportunity has revived itself amongst the tumultuous conditions for the youth of tomorrow. University students can find it under its synonyms title - “Co-operative Education.”

Beyond the Article

Considering joining Co-op? Visit the Co-op website or stop by and speak with a Co-op Coordinator in your department.

Did you know student’s have access to Career Services before and after graduation? For job listings, resume review and more, Career Advisors are here to help prepare you for what’s next.

Posted on November 25, 2010