Career Services: Job Climate “Improving”

Office Encourages Students to Choose Careers Based on Interest, Not Outlook


Published: December 10, 2009

Despite the media hype warning graduates of a bleak job market, Marion Viray, associate director of Career Services at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) says that things seem to be improving. Though numbers for 2009 are not yet available, 2008 had a 77 percent employment rate for recent college graduates.

Viray said that there has indeed been a decrease in job availability over the past few years, due to the recession. Though the climate may be tougher in 2009, Viray said that the key role of his office is to empower students. According to Viray, the most important things students should be doing is diversifying themselves.  “It is never too late to get involved, be in a campus-sponsored club, activity or sport, or an internship, volunteer or other extracurricular position,” Viray said.

The field most influenced by the recession in New York, Viray said, is “obviously finance.”  He added, “the best thing students can do is to follow their passions, since this is what will lead to eventual success.”

Viray also encouraged “following where the money is going.”  He said the effects of Obama’s stimulus package should be evident within the next year, and should have a beneficial impact on graduates.

In terms of projections for the future, Viray was a bit more hesitant.  He noted measures taken by major industries to stimulate sales in the upcoming season, including the early Christmas decorating of New York City in an effort to boost sales.   “The fashion industry specifically relies on this time of year for survival,” he said.  Whether this new tactic will be successful or not remains to be seen when data is crunched at the end of the season.

A common student response to post-graduation questions at FCLC has been the concern of whether to enter the job market directly upon completion of undergraduate studies, or to go to graduate school and “sit it out.”

Tanner Hartnett, FCRH ’09, said that she plans to attend law school “in hopes that the economic climate will have settled and be more favorable” when she graduates.

With response to concerns such as these, Viray said that, though education should definitely be strived for, some fields such as many M.B.A. programs require 2 years of experience before acceptance.  He said the field and the individual’s career goals were the key factors in this decision and whether further education should become a long-term or short-term goal.

To ease student concern, the Career Services office has put together a series of workshops.  Though they are for the most part over now in anticipation of the semester’s end, Viray says they’ll start up again for the spring semester. These workshops are available to all students to inform them of their options and the services available to them.  Viray said that if students are able to diversify themselves, as they are taught by these workshops, this will be their most valuable asset.