College Career Centers Grapple with Changing Economy

April 1, 2020 - 6:00pm

As the end of the school year approaches, career services offices at colleges and universities are working with college seniors about to enter the job market amid COVID-19.

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College seniors will likely graduate into a very different economy that they could have expected even two months ago. How seniors are impacted varies at different colleges around the state.

Deena Kennell is Director of Career and Academic Planning Services at Chadron State College. She said students can still access job postings online through career services. Many students from Chadron State go into agriculture, including jobs in range management or with the U.S. Forest Service.

Kennell said those jobs are still available, and that agriculture has been less impacted by COVID-19 than other industries. Kennell added that some students may not be thinking past graduation yet.

“I’m not sure our students have adjusted to the shift from being in person to being online even well enough to think about the graduation part, to be perfectly honest,” Kennell said. “I think we’re still more dealing with students making that adjustment and figuring out how this shift affects their ability to graduate or whether it does or doesn’t.”

At University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the jobs students would usually be applying for are being impacted more.

Tracy Lungrin is director of University Career Services at UNL. She said even some jobs that have already been offered are going away.

“Our employer partners would call us and just share with us that they had to release some of the students that they had hired for either internships or full-time positions.”

Lungrin couldn’t put a number to the number of offers that have been rescinded, but said some have been in engineering and business.

Lungrin also added that the number of jobs being posted is smaller, but students can still access career coaching through the university. She said students should still be networking and making connections that will be useful when more jobs are available.

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