The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

SUBSCRIBE TO THE OBSERVER'S WEEKLY NEWSLETTER:

Graduating Seniors Face Uncertain Job Market Conditions

Fordham Lincoln Center seniors struggle with uncertainty as graduation approaches, but job growth continues despite economists’ predictions
Fordham+seniors+grapple+with+a+paradoxical+job+market+as+overall+job+growth+clashes+with+mass+tech+layoffs%2C+creating+uncertainty+for+graduating+students+in+the+face+of+economic+shifts.
TARA LENTELL
Fordham seniors grapple with a paradoxical job market as overall job growth clashes with mass tech layoffs, creating uncertainty for graduating students in the face of economic shifts.

Graduation is quickly approaching for Fordham seniors,and with that, a certain level of unpredictability comes with the post-graduation job search. With new reports of unexpected job growth according to the Associated Press and contradictory job shrinkage reported by Bloomberg Business News in some industries, however, seniors are navigating changes in employment availability in the technology sector, which are described as outliers.

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, economists have predicted that the United States would soon face a recession, with Bloomberg reporting in October 2022 that such a downturn was 100% certain

Yet, the U.S. is now experiencing an unexpected growth in its economy, including a significant jump in job creation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) most recent report published on Feb. 2 saw an additional 335,000 jobs enter the market, defying economist’s predictions, with unemployment remaining low.

Despite the surprising surge in job growth, layoffs have targeted some industries into which Fordham graduates hope to enter. Large tech companies such as Google and Meta are among the worst offenders, pouring investments in artificial intelligence and seeking to correct their overhiring during the pandemic.

According to Stanford Economics Scholar Jeffrey Pfeffer, these layoffs are an example of “social contagion.” 

“Layoffs are the result of imitative behavior and are not particularly evidence-based,” Pfeffer explained to Stanford News. “The logic driving this, which doesn’t sound like very sensible logic because it’s not, is people say, ‘Everybody else is doing it, why aren’t we?’”

Annette McLaughlin, director of the Career Center at Fordham, said that while postgraduate life is always anxiety-inducing for seniors, her office has noted that this anxiety has set in sooner in recent years.

Despite the surprising surge in job growth, layoffs have targeted some industries into which Fordham graduates hope to enter.

McLaughlin recommended that students participate in Career Center programming designed to support them in their transition out of college. She specifically highlighted the “Senior Series,” a collection of workshops curated to prepare students for the job search process, and “Rams Helping Rams,” which pairs students with alumni. She also highlighted ongoing industry-specific career fairs throughout the semester.

“The main thing that would relieve anxiety is to have a plan,” McLaughlin said.

Amid this uncertain economic situation, Fordham seniors are now attempting to secure the near future, seeking out jobs, graduate school admissions and other postgraduate paths.

Madeleine Crew, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’24, who is majoring in English with a double minor in theatre and film and television, said that she plans to pursue graduate school, studying either acting or media management. She noted that the state of the economy has not impacted these plans. 

“Wanting to pursue a career as an actor, bottom line, is uncertain,” Crew noted. She said she feels lucky to be able to “collect degrees” as she moves forward and described herself as a “lifelong learner.”

The BLS reported growth in motion picture and sound recording industries by 12,000 jobs over the last month, with telecommunications decreasing by 3,000 in its February report. 

Fordham seniors are now attempting to secure the near future, seeking out jobs, graduate school admissions and other postgraduate paths.

Crew also highlighted that her education feels “incomplete” due to the disruption to her collegiate experience caused by the pandemic, due to which her first year at Fordham was almost entirely virtual.

“I didn’t get a proper freshman year, so I’m not done learning,” she said.

Gillian Gural, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center ’24, said that she initially planned to pursue a graduate school education but has decided to enter the workforce after receiving a full-time offer from a startup at which she interned last summer. Gural’s major is global business with a concentration in digital media and technology on the technology track, and she is minoring in computer science.

Gural emphasized that despite her primary interest in technology, she decided to obtain a business degree in order to increase her job prospects. She praised the Gabelli School of Business’ ability to prepare students for the workforce, though she noted she had not participated in career preparation programs such as resume workshops.

With regard to a potential future recession, Gural highlighted the particular impact of the economic uncertainty on the tech industry, despite having received what she described as “one lucky chance” with her internship.

Professional and business services saw a huge uptick in job growth, with 74,000 new jobs created in January 2024 compared to a 14,000 growth during January 2023. Employment in information saw a small increase but the BLS reports a general decrease in the sector. 

While Gural said she would have liked to receive more technical training within the technology track of the global business program, she also noted that she understands its focus on preparing students for management work within the tech sector. 

She added that she felt prepared for her internship in the tech industry and current part-time and future full-time position.

With regard to a potential future recession, Gural highlighted the particular impact of the economic uncertainty on the tech industry, despite having received what she described as “one lucky chance” with her internship.

The tech industry has suffered its worst year of layoffs since the dot-com boom in 2023, with more than 262,000 workers losing their jobs. In the first month of 2024, an additional nearly 30,000 employees were laid off.

Gural noted that the majority of these layoffs targeted entry-level positions, often filled by recent college graduates. She added that because of the downturn in the tech industry, many of her professors have recommended that students temporarily delay their entry into the workforce by pursuing graduate school.

“‘Just go to grad school and it’ll be better when you graduate,’ is what every economics professor has told me,” Gural recalled. “But now that I’m a senior, I’m like, I don’t want to go to grad school.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
ANA KEVORKIAN
ANA KEVORKIAN, Former Managing Editor
Ana Kevorkian (she/her), FCLC ’24, is the former managing editor at The Fordham Observer. This is her third year with The Observer, having previously served as head copy editor, and she is so excited to serve the organization which has given her so much in this capacity. When she’s not doing Observer-related tasks, you can find her watching movies (see: “Fordham Cinephiles Can Finally Know Peace”), listening to Taylor Swift, reading and wandering the city aimlessly.
TARA LENTELL
TARA LENTELL, Creative Director
Tara Lentell (she/her), FCLC ’25, is the creative director for The Observer. She is originally from Kansas City and is majoring in international political economy on the pre-law track. When not making graphics or working on The Observer, she can be found watching television, reading a book or exploring a new museum in New York City.

Comments (0)

The Observer reserves the right to remove any comments that contain any of the following: threats or harassment, hateful language and/or slurs, spam (including advertisements unrelated to the topic of a given post), and incoherent phrasing. See the Community Guidelines page under the About tab for more information. Please allow up to a few days for submitted comments to be approved.
All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *