A quick ask: Local college graduates’ plans after graduation

Graduate today, job seeker tomorrow
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University’s classes of 2023 graduated Friday.

And now comes the hard part: Finding a career.

Some already have jobs lined up.

USM graduate Jacorey Brown said he will be in ticket sales with the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans.

USM graduate Braylan Encalade said she’s going back to her home in Louisiana to be a pre-kindergarten teacher.

Other graduates are getting ready for another round of school.

USM graduate Sunny Jo Young said she got accepted to the master’s program for counselling at USM.

USM graduate Aalyiah Walker said after this, she plans on pursuing her master’s degree at USM.

Some recent graduates have NBA-sized dreams.

William Carey graduate Travez Ward played basketball while in school.

“I plan on going pro in basketball, but if that doesn’t work out, I plan on coaching for the kids that come up,” Ward said.

Graduates like Cody Killen worked full-time jobs while getting their degrees. Killen is the principal of Newton County High School and graduated Friday with his doctorate from William Carey University.

“I’m going to continue doing school,” Killen said. “I’m a high school principal and get prepared for the next year, future plans, hopefully become a superintendent and just keep charging forward,” .

Whatever the graduate’s plans are, they have gotten some help along the way.

William Carey University President Ben Burnett said the school is doing better helping students secure jobs.

“We’ve created a new student success center to help our graduates as they go forward in the job field,” Burnett said. “But with the school of education, really all of our undergraduate students secure jobs before they graduate.”

At the end of the day, walking away with a degree may bring them one step closer to their dream careers.

The employment rate for 25-to-34 year-olds is 86 percent for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics.

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