Job offers scarce at career fairs

Economic hard times and the nation’s steadily rising unemployment rate is leaving its mark on UH career fairs.

Assistant Dean for Career Cervices Jamie Belinne said C.T. Bauer College of Business saw a decline in recruiters at its February fair.

The 113-company turnout was a three-year low for the spring recruiting event, roughly the same amount of recruiters the college had in 2006.’

‘While you can’t say that the sky is falling, there was a significant decrease from last year when we had 160 recruiters,’ Belinne said.

Diminishing turnout is not the only problem UH career fairs have been facing.

Even if companies are in attendance, students can’t assume they are there to recruit.

The College of Technology and the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture are also experiencing a decrease in the number of recruiters participating or hiring.

Many of the companies at prior career fairs were only looking for interns. Others are at the career fair just to give information about their firms.’ ‘

Recruiters told the College of Business that they were not doing any full-time hiring for the spring since they had filled all of their positions internally, Belinne said.

‘They were more interested in recruiting interns than they have been in the past. Also, some companies had fewer 2009 hiring targets,’ Belinne said.’

The College of Technology also saw a decrease in numbers by almost half since the fall.

Carmen Carter, director of student affairs for the College of Technology, said 64 recruiters attended the fall career fair, but only 34 participated in the spring.

‘Companies are waiting for the hiring freezes to open up, and they did not want to miss out on quality applicants,’ Carter said.

Most of the companies came to collect r’eacute;sum’eacute;s, and others were looking for only interns, Carter said.

The College of Architecture hosted six firms when the Architecture Alumni Association sponsored a career fair in February. Previous fairs have hosted between 30 and 35 firms, Trang Phan, assistant dean of the College of Architecture, said.

Although firms didn’t tell Phan directly, she said she heard students say the firms were not hiring.

‘A few select firms were looking for interns, but they do not go directly through the college,’ Phan said.

Phan said the industry is hard for entering students and professionals.

‘Many of the students work while they go to school, and they are getting laid off,’ Phan said.

While hiring might be down at the College of Architecture, enrollment for the graduate program is up.

‘This is one way for our students to get their professional license (while waiting for jobs),’ Phan said.

The increase in students will introduce more professionals into a field that Phan said is looking bleak.

‘This is the most disappointing showing we had in a long time,’ Phan said.

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