Students optimistic about career outlook despite unemployment rate

Photo Credit: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Photo Credit: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Despite a struggling economy and unemployment nearing 10%, college students remain optimistic about their career prospects. In fact, nearly two out of three (64%) are confident that they will be able to start their careers in whatever area they choose. In contrast, only one in four (25%) believe that the economy is in such bad shape that it doesn’t make sense to start their careers now. This is according to data collected in February 2008 by SurveyU and youth marketing agency Campus Media Group of 1,000 college students ages 17-26.

When it comes to looking for and securing summer internships and jobs, students enrolled in a business major are more proactive. While more than half of college students (57%) started looking for their summer internships and jobs by March, nearly half (44%) of business majors had already secured their summer jobs and internships by March, compared to less than one in three (29%) non-business majors.

“With the inherent competitiveness of finding jobs in their chosen field, business majors seem to be more focused on their job outlook than other majors,” says Jason Bakker, Director of Marketing for Campus Media Group.

The research pointed to direct communications and career fairs as the dominant means of recruiting college students for jobs and internships. In fact, students were three times more likely to indicate career fair exhibits and direct opt-in e-mails from the company rather than advertising, websites and campus poster campaigns as the best way to reach them.

“This generation is relatively numb to most forms of advertising,” says Bakker. “Though general branding of your company is very important in staying top-of-mind among students, one-to-one interactions are really what students are hungry for in today’s economic climate.”

Bookmark and Share

About Jason Bakker

Jason Bakker is a native Minnesotan and has been working in the area of youth marketing for nearly a decade. He currently works with Minneapolis based Campus Media Group as the Director of Marketing and is responsible for following trends in the ever-changing landscape of youth culture and media usage, and for consulting advertising agency and national brand professionals on how to develop integrated marketing programs that reach college youth.