The Majority of UNR Grads Find Jobs with ease
By: Anna-Leigh Firth
RENO, Nev. — The number of recent University of Nevada graduates becoming employed in the Reno-Sparks area who stay in-state is at a 75 percent success rate. The rate at which graduates are finding employment in the out-of-state job market racks in at 25 percent.
Major factors that determine employment are highly individualistic and can vary based on degree, experience, and the level at which graduates are pursuing employment.
The Alumni Survey conducted by the Institution Analysis Office at the University of Nevada, Reno saw 12,344 participants and found that almost 90 percent of graduates are employed, in graduate school, or affiliated with a branch of militia.
The 43 percent of graduates that chose to participate in the survey answered questions regarding the demographic of employed graduates, where they are employed, and how they would rate the University’s core curriculum one year after graduation.
It is noted in the survey that the majority of survey participants were found to be white students, as well as in-state residents from Nevada. However, the Institutional Analysis team matched participants with non-participants based on race, ethnicity, degree program, academic achievement, and whether or not they changed their major during their time at the University.
In conjunction with conducting the Alumni Survey, the Institutional Analysis Office gathers data, manages budget, and conducts analysis on several campus operations. The databook is updated every Fall Semester on student demographics, enrollment information, student credit hours, full-time enrollment, classes and instruction, personnel, finance, facilities, degrees granted, and graduation.
“The Alumni Survey we conducted last year includes responses from graduated students between 2001 and 2011. Of those students that graduated during that timeframe, we had approximately 45 percent of those students that responded,” said Sergio Herzog, the Director of Institutional Analysis at the University. “Our survey, that is conducted mostly online, includes a series of questions that ask the graduates to reflect on their educational experience at UNR, and to give us info on their employment status after one year.”
“The Alumni Survey is particularly useful to our institution because it tells us how many students end up working within the state of Nevada; how many students that graduate from UNR that are out of state students (who) actually remain within the state and found employment. It also tells us the proportion of students that found employment within their area of training. In addition, we ask students how quickly they found employment. We are certainly glad to say the vast majority of students, typically 70-80 percent, found employment within three months having graduated,” said Herzog.
It was reported that about 74 percent of employed graduates found employment within three months of graduating. However, this may be due to students looking for employment at least one semester before graduation.
“I started pretty early because a few of my friends had just graduated and they had had a hard time finding a job. As soon as my last semester started, or even before, I already started actively looking for jobs, really working on my resume a lot, and applying everywhere. I used a lot of LinkedIn and I looked at company websites that I would be interested in applying to,” said Nicolas Ocampo, a former RSJ student who graduated in May 2013. He is now employed as a Project Manager at KPS3 Marketing Company.
For Ocampo, focusing on the digital realm of marketing and advertisement helped him to build the skill level required to qualify for a job as a Project Manager.
“I chose to focus on a very specific thing that I wanted to do that I don’t think almost any of my PR classmates were really focused on, which wasn’t really PR at all, but it was more digital marketing, SCO, and web development. I had the rarity of having an IS minor too and I had experience in working with web stuff; I built databases and worked as a web master for ASUN for a while so I had an upper hand in what I was trying to get into,” said Ocampo.
Ocampo, originally from Bolivia, believes that web codes and applications are very important if one wants to make finding a job in a similar field upon graduation easier.
“You need to know at least a little web, or some design. You need to understand Photoshop and Illustrator mainly. If you understand those really well, or you have some experience with web, that’s a huge upper-hand I think,” said Ocampo.
Some majors secure jobs far easier than others. Currently, Education is the number one ranking industry of employment at 22 percent with Unidentified/Missing majors coming in second at 20 percent. Surprisingly, Health and Biological Sciences were ranked third at 10 percent; Other at nine percent; Business/Finance at eight percent; Science/Tech/Research, Retail/Wholesale, and Non-profit/Humanities at five percent; Building/Construction, Communication/Media/Arts, and Manufacturing/Mining at four percent; Tourism/Hospitality Industry at three percent; and Transportation/Logistics at two percent.
John Criss is a General Studies graduate from Germany who was another out-of-state Alumni employed in Reno. He worked at Custom Ink T-shirt Company for eight months up until January this year.
“I applied to two places during finals to make my mom happy. I got denied at one place and then the second place I just got called back for interviews and was just kind of myself, just kind of ridiculous, but I also did know someone that worked there, and she apparently put in a good word for me so that was a big part; she’s a well-liked person in the company.”
“I left the company due to injury and I wasn’t hitting the numbers that were required for the job, so I probably would’ve been released soon after anyways. I timed it right,” said Criss.
Criss plans on starting his own business in the near future.
James Davis is a December 2013 graduate from Las Vegas with a degree in Education.
“I am currently doing an internship teaching at Sparks High School. Once I finish, I will have a guaranteed job as a math teacher,” said Davis, “Math jobs are in high demand right now so everybody’s trying to get us hired, so it’s really easy.”
Davis advises that networking is a key factor to landing a job.
“Whatever you decide to major in you should look into to see how easy it is to get a job in the field; it is very important that while you’re at the university still studying, that you start making connections and get to know people in the field because definitely knowing somebody is about half getting a job, and that’s true for every major,” said Davis.
Jeremy Manipon is a 2010 Psychology graduate who is currently underemployed at Sam’s Club.
“Most places require a PhD, plus I sold my car and took everything I owned in my backpack to London where I spent three months’ time,” said Manipon, “My lifestyle didn’t cater to getting a job right after college.”
The Career Studio located in the Thompson Building offers a variety of options to help current students and graduates find jobs.
Alumni may use the Career Studio for free for six months upon graduating, after which they must purchase an Alumni Association Membership to become eligible to use the services provided again.
“Here at the Career Studio, we help students with resumes, cover letters, job applications, basically anything you can think of, that’s career related, we can help with,” said Bianca Guzman, a career mentor at the Career Studio, located in the Thompson Building at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The Career Studio has a diverse group of cliental including current students, and alumni that range in age from old to young.
“Typically, we get more undergraduate students. Sometimes seniors, sometimes it can be older students; we get a wide range of students and every demographic at the University is represented here,” said Guzman.
The Nevada Career Studio has a Page on Facebook that can provide contact information, hours, and special events hosted for not only current students, but also graduates who are currently job searching.
It is very easy for graduates to stay connected to the University. The Alumni Association has 26 Alumni chapters that cater to specific interests, locations, and events. All graduates also get subscriptions to Silver and Blue Magazine if the University has their current address.
“As far as graduates actually contacting us after graduation, we don’t really hear from a lot that are looking for career advice, things like that. We’re kind of more of the party planner, fun side of things; just keeping you engaged and communicating the nostalgia of the University. Most of those inquiries and requests would go to the Career Studio or LinkedIn,” said Amy Beck, the Public Relations Coordinator for the Alumni Relations department.
The Alumni Survey reports that 90 percent of graduates would choose UNR again if they would have to start all over.
As far as job searching goes for UNR grads, as long as you have the motivation to look for a job, you have a very high chance of landing one. Unemployed graduates can contact one of the University’s many organizations to help find jobs or use LinkedIn, a popular form of social networking site for professional networking and job-hunting.