HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -
You've got the degree, but getting the job just may be the toughest part, especially in a job market not so fresh-out-of-college friendly.
"Really what we've seen in career services really over the last six to eight months is a tremendous slowdown in the number of hires of new college graduates," said USM Career Services Director Rusty Anderson.
With the slowdown Anderson says many graduates are finding themselves at a dead end.
"There's a certain mentality that if I have a degree I'm supposed to have a job when I graduate and when that reality hits them I believe it sets them back a little bit and they have to rethink and retrench their approach to the job market," said Anderson.
That's exactly what USM student Jessica Jones did when she decided to go ahead and enter graduate school after receiving her marketing degree in May.
"When you're not hearing anything back from companies, it is disheartening," said Jones.
Now she, like so many others is hoping more education will giver her a better edge.
"I've had several people tell me that they're going to go ahead and take the G-MAT to try to get back in to grad school, I know some people that have even been out of school since the last December who still haven't found jobs," said Jones.
Graduate school enrollment has increased at both USM and William Carey; about 35 percent on the golden eagle campus.
"A lot of students are just going to stay in school for another year, see what happens with the job market," said Anderson.
"It's a very viable option and it might very well serve them well when we do turn that corner and the jobs become more plentiful," said William Carrey Vice President for student services Brenda Waldrip.
For those who've had enough school, many graduates are taking whatever jobs they can find, or sticking with the one they had while in college, even if it has nothing to do with their degree.
"I think there's a lot of students that i would consider under employed or over qualified for what they're doing," said Anderson.
Even so, it may not be all bad. The upside is you have a job.
"Wether it's a part time job just to get your foot in the door and combine that with graduate work or to just take a full time job that might not be your hearts desire, it's just a reality that you've got to start somewhere," said Waldrip.
But starting somewhere takes work.
"I'm going to go ahead and probably start looking for a job well before. I probably need to be looking right now, even for next may because the way it is right now, it's just really tuff," said Jones.