Location is key after diploma

Laura Hagan

Bowling Green senior Scott Bailey will graduate in December with a degree in marketing and plans to find employment at a pharmaceutical company. He seems confident that this is the path he wants to take and is trying to find a job close by.

“I have been a pharmaceutical technician for over seven years and come into contact with pharmaceutical representatives all the time,” he said.

While not all students have such an organized plan, many do know where they want to go once they graduate.

In the fall and spring semesters, the Career Services Center sponsors a Job Fair to help students find a job.

During the Spring 2002 Job Fair, it was found by Career Services that the majority of students in attendance were looking for permanent careers and that 80 percent of Western graduates are employed within a year after graduation.

Where to find these jobs is the question.

The Career Services Center, on the second floor of Helm-Cravens Library, helps students find these jobs. It is recommended to start planning for a career early.

Bailey used the center to help him write his resum?, but says he mostly learned on his own what to do to find a job in the spring.

When looking for a job many students decide to stay close to home, while others are willing to move away.

Carol White, associate director of Career Services, said many graduates tend to stay in their home area.

“The only reason many have decided to leave is because they are finding better opportunities outside their home areas,” she said.

Jeff Payton, a senior from Portland, Tenn., and a music education major, said he plans to find a job close to home when he graduates.

“If there is an opportunity outside of where I am, I will take it, but it would be nice to only be about an hour away from home,” he said.

While it may seem early for career decisions, Louisville freshman Amber Drury knows she would like to stay close to home.

“I’m hoping to find a job somewhere that I like, but that also is conveniently near where I live,” she said.

A survey of Western graduates over the past 6 years found that a majority stay close to home. Over 700 found jobs in Kentucky, with 380 in Bowling Green. Glasgow, Louisville, Lexington and Owensboro also draw many graduates.

Some Western graduates choose to relocate to Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio.

But for those graduates who decide to stay in Bowling Green, the most common majors were elementary education, nursing, computer sciences, advertising, public relations and psychology.

One-third of the Western graduates in Tennessee work in accounting, marketing and nursing with the majority located in Nashville.

Graduates in Indiana have settled mostly in Evansville and Jasper, finding jobs in agriculture, accounting, geography, mathematics and mental health counseling. Some graduates interested in psychology and sociology have found work in Ohio, with a large number in Cincinnati.

Sacramento, Ky. senior Ginny Lee will graduate in December with a degree in music education and plans to look for a student-teaching job.

“I talked to administrators in the music department and got their opinions on what I should do, and talked to teachers in the area,” she said.

There is no shortage of available jobs, for any major, broadcasting professor Bart White said. For example, broadcasting majors, depending on their area, can get such jobs as a field reporter, producer, videographer and editor, he said.

Regardless of your planned major and career choice, there are many opportunities for guidance. Career Services offers job vacancy information, career advising and job search counseling.