More than 8,200 UT grads prepare to enter workforce

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KVUE

Posted on May 17, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Updated Saturday, May 17 at 10:26 PM

AUSTIN — An estimated 25,000 people visited the University of Texas campus this weekend for the 131st spring commencement ceremony.

According to UT, 8.200 new graduates are now preparing to enter the workforce.

But what can they expect?

One survey shows the job market may give them even more reason to celebrate this weekend.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers job outlook survey shows businesses plan to hire 8.6 percent more graduates from the class of 2014 than from the class of 2013. That's promising — but not impressive — since recent years brought similar increases.

And the same conservative promise seems to be reflected in the attitudes of this year's grads.

Ray Cervania graduated with a degree in anthropology, but said the economy forced him to reconsider his direction. Now the aspiring entrepreneur says he plans to join the military.

"The current job market is very unstable, and I think that being your own boss is actually something great," Cervania said.

Thirty years to the day after Debbie Lapin graduated UT, she watched her daughter Hannah get her own diploma. But one legacy Debbie hopes her daughter won't inherit is her mother's 1980s job market.

"It was kind of a different world back then, particularly for women," said the elder Lapin said.

In addition to slight increases in new graduate hiring, the NACE research indicates newly-minted grads can also hope for slightly higher paychecks.

The survey shows the average starting salary for 2014 college graduates with bachelor’s degrees has increased 1.2 percent over 2013.

Just as in recent years, degrees in fields like engineering, business, and computer sciences still rank near the top with prospective employers.

Hannah Lapin said she's hoping her journalism degree will help her land a job in the field of "social corporate responsibility."

"I know it's kind of a niche market," she conceded. But even so, she already landed one job — even if it's only part-time.

As graduation weekend comes to end, it's a promising new beginning for thousands of young people.

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