Oklahoma students weary of rocky job market

Friday, October 10th 2008, 6:58 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- With an economic meltdown across the nation, job security is a major concern especially for students trying to land a spot in the workforce.

There's a 30 percent increase in students coming into Oklahoma City University's Career Center either to look for a job or pursuing their MBA to keep up with a competitive job market.

It's been a rough road for Erik Vaal who has been on the job hunt for two months now. With the looming economic crisis Vaal is struggling in a competitive job market.

"It's not as open as I thought it would possibly be," Vaal said. "I thought there would be a lot more opportunity with my background, and coming into a career transition and rolling into another in a month or so, but that's not happened."

OCU's Director of Career Services, Josh Waddell, said the job market is a challenge, but could be much worse.

"In Oklahoma, the job market is still pretty strong," Waddell said. "We haven't seen the bubble like many other states have and many of our MBA candidates are already employed."

Waddell said many are taking advantage of internships as a pipeline to landing a job. Ann Michelle King is one of them.

"I have an internship at Chesapeake, so I'm very blessed to have that opportunity and I feel like that is something that'll continue on and will become a job, so I don't feel that I'm as worried as some other people may be."

While King is well on her way to the workforce, Vaal is on his way to the job fair where he's holding onto hope and hoping plenty of previous experience will pay off.

"There's a lot of people showing up there today, so that tells me that there's a lot of people in the market looking for jobs and there's a lot of employers there too," Vaal said.

There are at least 10 job postings on the career Web site on a daily basis and that's a strong sign of the job market.

The OCU Meinders School of Business also had a career fair last week with nearly three dozen employers looking to hire.