Job Outlook Bright for SC College Graduates

USC graduated more than 3,000 students Monday.

COLUMBIA, S.C.  – Fall graduation ceremonies are underway at South Carolina’s colleges and universities, with USC awarding more than 3,000 degrees Monday and Clemson holding commencement ceremonies on December 15th, and the job outlook for those graduates looks good.

“The job market looks very positive for our graduates, not only our graduates here in December but also the ones in May,” says Tom Halasz, director of the University of South Carolina’s Career Center.  “Nationwide, the job market is not as strong as here in South Carolina, as well as in the Southeast. Recently, the Darla Moore School of Business held a conference where the economists as well as researchers for the Darla Moore School of Business estimate about 2.6 percent growth for jobs in South Carolina, which is above what they’re looking at nationally.”

He says some of the highest demand is for business graduates who majored in Global Supply Chain and Operations Management, Finance, and sales. Vismata Rao majored in Global Supply Chain and Management and Corporate Finance and already has a job. “I think it’s very beneficial to have an internship. That way you have a possibility of getting a job where you interned at, and it also gives you a lot of experience so you know what types of jobs you’re looking for,” she says.

USC graduate Maddie Frome says she has options with companies she interned with, but is seeing that the job market is not as good in other parts of the country as it is in South Carolina.  “I would like to be in a major city either in the Northeast or on the West coast, and it’s kind of a little bit more difficult to find job opportunities there,” she says. But overall she says the job market looks great, especially since there are fewer graduates in December than in May.

Halasz says there’s demand for pretty much all majors, but higher demand for some. “Opportunity in education, teachers, is strong. We’re looking at a 23 percent increase in the number of organizations registered for our job fair, our education job fair,” he says. “As we look at our science, engineering, technology and career-fest job fair, we’re looking at about a 9 percent increase over last year, and last year was a very strong market too.”

The good news doesn’t mean all graduates will get jobs right away, though. Mollie Brown, who majored in Global Supply Chain and Operations Management and Marketing at USC says, “I’ve been currently interviewing in Charleston and Columbia area and right now I don’t have a job. I’m a discouraged worker. I’m looking for a job, but right now the job market just isn’t where I’d like it to be.”

Halasz says for students who haven’t found jobs yet, or who couldn’t look because they were focused on finishing their classes, taking exams , and graduation,  USC has a job fair on January 18th.