Florida’s employment figures have recently started to increase, bringing new job opportunities for college students. Drema Howard, the director of USF’s Career Center, believes this is an excellent time for students to find work since employers are looking to fill a wide variety of positions.
“In the last two semesters, the economy has shifted for college students because we are seeing employers come back to the campus,” Howard said. “They’re coming back not just with two or three jobs, they’re coming back with 40 positions and a variety of positions.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida’s unemployment rate in December of 2011 was 9.9 percent, down from 12 percent in December of 2010. In 2011, 28 states experienced significant increases in employment. Behind California and Texas, Florida had the third-largest increase in employment (113,900) from 2010 to 2011.
Within the last six months, USF has seen their number of internships increase 53 percent, part-time jobs increase 33 percent and full-time jobs requiring a college degree increase 58 percent, according to Howard.
“I am graduating in the fall, so hearing that opportunities for jobs after graduation are increasing makes me feel much better,” said Justin Wilde, a senior majoring in civil engineering. “Part of what I like about my major, though, is that even in the poor economic situation I knew I wouldn’t really be at a loss of a job because a society needs roads and bridges to be able to communicate ideas and thrive.”
The Florida Department of Economic Activity projects job outlooks for Hillsborough County in 2019. Business and financial operations sits at the top, with 54,796 people employed, but engineering follows closely.
Caitlin Laramee, a sophomore majoring in accounting and finance, said part of the reason she chose to focus in business was “because I knew that there will always be a need for accountants and financers, even with a poor economic situation. Without us, a business will have a hard time succeeding.”
The increases in employment will continue to noticeably affect USF students and their choices in majors.
“We’ll see it on a college campus before they’ll see it in the community,” Howard said. “Students at USF only continue to pursue degrees they know will look up in the future.”