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"The worst is behind us," -Quazi

By D'Ann Dickson
On February 13, 2013

 Despite the current economic improvements, and the growing Texas employment rates, economists and professionals have conflicting beliefs of the position this places Prairie View A&M University students.
 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current national unemployment rate has decreased to 7.9 percent but the Texas unemployment rate is well below the national average at 6.2 percent.
While the overall percentage is low, the actual job addition figures are obscure.
Companies in Texas have not added the amount of job positions that paints the perfect picture of an economy.
A normal unemployment rate is an estimated 5.5 percent with about 250,000 jobs being filled monthly.
Students searching for employment in Texas' major cities, Houston and Dallas, are in the best place since 2009 and have numerous opportunities in demanding job fields, but the economy still is not in its prime so strategic job searching and resume differentiation is encouraged.
Rahim Quazi, professor of economics and director of the international business program our Prairie View A&M University says, "The economy has definitely rebounded so the worst is behind us, but I cannot totally say that our best days are ahead of us. Companies are still a bit uncertain about some economical factors which could explain why they have not been adding many more open positions. As the economy continues to grow, I believe students will be able to find a desirable position."
Quazi suggests students who may not have that dream job or foolproof career plan should enroll in a graduate or doctorate program to get a higher level degree than a bachelor's, held by more than 30 percent of the total U.S. population. He also suggests finding a career that is in demand such as health, education, engineering and construction and accounting.
While Quazi feels that PVAMU students are in a fair position, career services director Glenda Jones has reason for a slightly different opinion.
"Even though the economy is declining, university career resources and our career fairs have increased by eight percent in professional attendance. I believe this is because many companies are aware of the high quality of students here," said Jones.
Most employers schedule campus visits and interviews through Career Services and as director, Jones recognizes hiring cut backs are not just an effect of economical status, but also of demand trend. If a certain company opens a new plant or firm in a particular city, then there will be more of an opportunity to be hired at that time.
How does a student remain above the demand and economical trends?
Jones stated, "You have to think outside the box. Do not be afraid to travel or to work in a smaller or less popular city or town. Do your research to know who and where they are hiring. Many students only set their sight on large corporations in large metropolitan cities without realizing that for smaller pay, they can start a great career in a small town with a less grossing company."
Due to current financial constraints, some students may not be able to purchase necessary items for job searching such as a suit.
Career Services has designed a Career Closet to benefit these students which will be available later in the month.
"With the current economical stress, students do not have time to portray a bad first impression. To say it shortly, companies are looking for a few and you want to put yourself in the best position to get hired. Looking the part plays a large factor in getting hired," said Jones.

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