The Class of 2009 is going to face fewer openings in the job market upon graduation, according to a report released this month by the National Association of Colleges and Employers that indicates a 4.4 percent drop in projected hiring rates.

The predicted increase in hiring rates of college graduates has dropped from 6 percent, as reported in an August survey, to 1.6 percent in October, according to data collected by NACE.

Of the 146 employers participating in the study, all industries outside the government sector reported either a projected decline or stagnation in hiring levels. Governmental organizations responding to the poll, however, reported an almost 20 percent increase in predicted hiring from August to October.

According to Michael Schaub, executive director of the Georgetown University Career Education Center, the Georgetown community has felt the declining hiring trends within certain sectors, particularly among students looking into a future in finance.

“The Career Center is experiencing a decrease in the number of on-campus interviewing schedules in the finance [and] banking fields,” Schaub said. “Therefore, students who are interested in the finance field, especially with Wall Street firms, must expand their career options to include smaller firms, and they must be flexible about their geographic preferences.”

Schaub said students will have to “think outside the box,” which he said may include alternative options like applying for volunteer programs or pursuing a graduate degree.

“We anticipate an increase in the number of applications to graduate and professional schools this year compared to last year,” he said. “I also anticipate that more students will consider volunteer and service work, including Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Teach for America and the Peace Corps.”

Schaub said he believes the university positions students to succeed in a range of fields.

“The economy affects industries, not academic majors,” he said.

“One advantage of receiving a well-rounded, liberal arts-based education at Georgetown is that our students are excellent candidates for many career options regardless of their academic major.”

At the Fall Career Fair, the employer count was at capacity with over 100 in attendance representing a wide range of industries, and, according to Schaub, the career center expects similar attendance at its Spring Government and Non-Profit Expo.

One student reported, however, that securing a spot in the finance industry has been particularly challenging for the Class of 2009.

“I know a lot of people who are overly qualified for entry-level finance positions and are having a very hard time even getting interviews,” Stephan Brondeau (MSB ’09) said.

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