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Graduates compete in job market, enter work force

Ann Marie Jakubowski | Wednesday, May 16, 2012


As their collegiate careers wind down, members of the Class of 2012 have set sights on their professional futures. A majority will enter the work force with the strength of a Notre Dame degree backing them up, as statistics show University graduates fare well in job placement. 

Kevin Monahan, associate director at the Career Center, said he expects this year’s placement statistics to compare well to last year’s strong numbers.

“For the class of 2011 last year, 85 percent left Notre Dame with definite plans: military careers, graduate school, post-graduate service or full-time employment,” he said. “Within three months of graduation, that number was in the upper 90s [percent.]”

A Notre Dame degree carries great value, according to Monahan, who cited positive feedback from recruiters at Epic, a medical technology company located in Madison, Wisc., which recruited 36 graduating seniors this year.

Monahan said the nature of certain sectors of the job market where positions become available and are filled rapidly leads to fluctuations in employment opportunities. 

“It really depends on the industry,” he said. “Certain industries hire on the ‘just-in-time’ market, like advertising, film, television and communications – they hire when they have need.”

While some companies recruit well in advance of graduation, opportunities with those who use this type of hiring schedule are more difficult to anticipate.

“If an advertising agency has an opening, they interview you today and ask you to start next week,” he said.

Monahan said alumni networking is important in the job hunt, stressing these connections can lead to unexpected opportunities.

“Because of the tight time frames, networking is very important,” he said. “You want people to be able to alert you to potential job openings.”

The Notre Dame alumni network is especially helpful with “just-in-time” hiring industries, he said. Monahan cited the Chicago-based advertising agency Abelson Taylor as an example.

“They have hired about 10 Notre Dame alumni in the past year, and each one has been through networking and referrals,” he said. “They rarely post any openings on their website, because [recruiting is] all done by alumni recommending other alumni.”

Regardless of how graduates find job opportunities, Monahan said he is confident members of the class of 2012 will succeed in finding employment.

“It’s still a challenging job market for graduating seniors,” Monahan said. “But with the resources available to our students through employer relationships, Career Center counseling and alumni networking, we are confident that all of graduates will be successful in their chosen careers.”

Monahan said the Career Center continues to offer its services to seniors after graduation.

“We will continue to work with students and young alumni in their job search,” he said. “I want to encourage the graduates, that, if they’re still seeking employment, please reach out to the Career Center. We’d love to help each person build a game plan for their job search.”