Job Market Outlook Favorable
By Barbara Gutierrez

Job Market Outlook Favorable
By Barbara Gutierrez
Graduating students can benefit from working with UM’s Toppel Career Center on career goals and success.

The class of 2015 will enter a very favorable job market as employers plan to hire 9.6 percent more graduates than last year and will offer a median salary of $50,000, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. 

“If I had to predict, I would say that the graduates entering today’s job market will continue to do well,” said Christian Garcia, executive director of UM’s Toppel Career Center. “Those who prepare early should have an easier entry into the American workforce.”

Internships continue to be an important factor in securing a future job as today’s employers value “real world” experience. Statistics show that 45 percent of UM graduating seniors took part in an internship.

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Using the services provided by Toppel early on in their college career is also crucial, said Garcia, adding that students and parents have become savvier about the University’s career preparation opportunities even before they enter college.

One student who took full advantage Toppel’s services was UM senior Steven De Nicola. A School of Business Administration student with a marketing major, De Nicola first visited the Career Center in his sophomore year. He attended career fairs, honed his interviewing skills, polished his resume and took internships at the sports marketing and sales firm Van Wagner Outdoor. As a sales intern, De Nicola created sales presentations for clients and learned the finer points of customer service.

He then set his sight on Nielsen, the global information and measurement company, and met two of their representatives at a career fair hosted by Toppel.  He garnered an internship at Nielsen last summer that eventually led to a full-time position as an analyst at the company’s offices in New York City.

De Nicola credits his work with Toppel as helping him land the job.

“Toppel pointed out the qualities and traits that employers look for,” said De Nicola. “This allowed me to focus on my strengths during the interviews.”

Brian Jozefat, who will receive a B.S. in mechanical engineering, will start his full-time job as a technical analyst with Citrix just weeks after graduation. He learned about Citrix, an American multinational software company, through a presentation at the College of Engineering, but then followed up his interest in the company when Citrix recruiters visited Toppel. Jozefat said those interviews led to his full-time job offer.

Garcia noted that in today’s competitive job market it is essential for graduates to not only have the solid skills needed for a particular job, but also possess the soft skills that can lead to career advancement and promotion once they have a job.

Toward that end, Toppel has launched the Professional Development Academy, a six-week course designed to help students develop knowledge and skills for career readiness and success. These include better communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to analyze and synthesize information to solve problems and make decisions.


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