Job Market Doomed?

FCLC Seniors Might Not Have To Worry


Published: January 31, 2008

FCLC—With economists saying we are facing a recession, seniors who are graduating in May have plenty to worry about when it comes to the job market. However, several experts say that although it is difficult at this point to predict when this recession may happen, those who are about to begin job hunting may not have such a difficult time after all, unless they are seeking employment in the financial industry.

“In New York, it is going to be very tough finding a job in the financial market,” Shapoor Vali, associate professor of economics at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) said. Vali is referring to the tremendous financial losses, resulting in layoffs at various financial groups such as Citigroup, Bank of America Corp. and Merrill Lynch. However, Vali doesn’t foresee this being a problem for many students at FCLC, but more of a concern for students who attend the College of Business Administration (CBA) at the Rose Hill campus.

The location of FCLC is also a positive factor that students should rely on. “New York is unique in that we are the financial capital,” said Janis Barry, associate professor of economics at FCLC. “What hits Kansas, hits New York a little differently.” The economy tends to bottom out more slowly than the rest of country that doesn’t have a diverse group of industries, Barry said. With a diverse array of industries ranging from entertainment to service, Fordham students who are searching for a job in New York are “blessed” despite the economic downturn.

For one of FCLC’s popular majors, communication and media studies, students may be adversely affected, though it is not a result of the economy, but rather of the downsizing in the print and non-print media, or the writer’s strike, Vali said.

Marion Viray, associate director of career services agreed that those who are studying communication and media studies are not as affected by the financial losses of various financial institutions and shouldn’t worry about the job market in relation to the economy. Very few students go into corporate communication in which there are going to be layoffs, he said. “A lot of students don’t go into financial institutions, they go into more creative worlds,” Viray said.

Even economics majors have other options besides a financial career. Many students become research analysts, which in times of economic downturn are actually needed, or they might go to Washington D.C. or the United Nations, Viray added. “Most of our students aren’t going to Citigroup,” he added, referring to the lack of interest in employment with financial corporations at FCLC.

For students who want to be proactive about the job hunt, Barry suggests broadening their qualifications and getting another degree, as well as having a willingness to relocate for an entry-level job if need be. “Go back to school, get another degree, and accept the increase in debt load,” Barry said. “It will pay for itself once the economy picks up.” Increasing education is another way to stand out and avoid being side-swept by the job market.

Viray noted that students should not only be relying on their academics when beginning the job hunt, but also their networking skills, as well as programs like Study Abroad, which is becoming increasingly important in a global economy.

“The big news is that the labor market is now global,” agreed Barry. “You are now in competition with students from around the world, and Fordham students should take a look at who is sitting next to them in their classes. The very people that are from previously Eastern Bloc countries, Latin America, Asia or India are competing with you… This isn’t to suggest that students should be looking to fellow students with anger or mistrust, it’s that if young Americans haven’t gotten the message, it’s going to be harder not easier to get a good job.” Going abroad, Barry added, is “a must because now employers are looking for students who get the big picture.”

Barry also said that graduating seniors at Fordham are already ahead of the game when it comes to other American students who haven’t made it this far. “In the U.S., those who graduate from four years of college are privileged,” she said. “You’re going to win in the sense that you’re already going to be part of the small portion of the population who is well-educated.”