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Class of 2005 finds improved job market

Click here for low-resolution video of UD’s 156th Commencement

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Click here for low-resolution video of Jeff Shaara's address

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About UD’s 156th Commencement

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7 p.m., May 28, 2005--University graduates this year will find a stronger job market than it has been for several years, George Sharpley Jr., a senior economist at the Delaware Department of Labor, said.

“It’s mostly a function of the overall U.S. economy improving in the last year,” Sharpley said. “We are expecting a decent economy for at least another couple of years. There’s a lot of uncertainly out there, but we are fairly confident.”

“There is a definite improvement in the job market this year.
All of our job fairs have seen significant increases in employer attendance,” Jack Townsend, director of UD’s MBNA Career Services Center, said.

The center’s Spring Career Fair on April 21 drew 105 employers, up from 81 the previous year, while other more specialized fairs for health science, engineering and technology and agriculture, saw improved participation levels, too, Townsend said.

“National statistics indicate that chemical engineers (with an average starting salary of $54,256) and electrical/computer engineers ($52,009) are the highest paid bachelor’s degree graduates,” Townsend said. “The UD experience is similar to those statistics. We have found that our nursing graduates are also getting offers in the low $50,000s and accounting majors are in the mid to upper $40,000 range.”

Townsend said UD graduates have been doing very well in the market, and their access to potential employers through the career center has greatly increased their opportunities. “As we begin to get feedback from graduates, it is clear that this will be a strong year,” he said.

Most UD graduates have the advantage of having taken internships and career-related summer jobs that enhance their resumes when looking for full-time employment. The MBNA Career Services Center emphasizes the need to start the job search early and provides a full range of programs and services to help students present themselves effectively, Townsend said.

Sharpley said many employers in Delaware are keen to hire UD graduates, and the trend is expected to continue in what he described as a “pretty good market.”

The Delaware Department of Labor projects that the graduates in the greatest demand in Delaware are accountants, auditors, computer system analysts, elementary school teachers, securities and financial services agents, construction managers, network systems administrators and analysts, Sharpley said.

“The outlook is pretty solid,” Sharpley said. “There are a lot of growth areas throughout the economy. The average growth over the next few years, through 2012, is projected at about 1.4 percent per year. We project that Delaware jobs will grow at an annual rate of 1.2 percent during this period.”

According to the Delaware Department of Labor, the jobs with highest starting salaries in the state for bachelor's degree holders are:

  • Petroleum engineers, $67,400;
  • Computer software engineers, $62,300;
  • Chemical engineers, $61,400; and
  • Mechanical electrical, computer hardware, industrial and materials engineers, $57,200.

    Highest starting salaries in other fields:
  • Industrial production managers, $53,100;
  • Computer systems analysts, $52,100; and
  • Computer programmers, $51,100.

Article by Martin Mbugua

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