How are UGA Grads Getting Jobs? A Look at Recent Trends in Networking

To determine how UGA graduates are getting their post-graduation jobs, the UGA Career Center analyzed data collected through the UGA Career Outcomes Survey. Each year all graduating students at UGA fill out the Career Outcomes Survey. The survey aims to discover the employment status of recent alumni as well as if they are continuing their education. The survey also collects information on their job titles, salary and how they got their job.

The information is readily available on the Career Center website. There, the data is categorized by college and major. Students are encouraged to explore their fields of study to get recent data shared by their peers, graduated in the same major the year before. Students can see which employers have hired students in their major, their job titles and work locations. The low, high, and median salary statistics are also available to explore. One important aspect of the survey is the listing of resources recent alumni used to find their jobs.

This report shows that the UGA Career Center is the number one resource for the second year in a row with an astounding 40% of students utilizing it, when it comes to searching for a job. Students are not only taking advantage of the workshops, the mock interviews, the career counselors’ appointments and more, they are finding success through them. A huge component of the Career Center are career fairs and Handshake with 60% of Career Center’s successful outreach is split evenly between them. Handshake is the Career Center’s online recruitment platform. Exclusively for college students and alumni, Handshake allows UGA students to search for available jobs. Companies also use it to specifically recruit UGA graduates. Online resources, like Handshake, have been steadily growing resource as the second most used resource. Next comes networking which on a first look seems like it has seen a decrease from previous Career Outcomes Surveys. However, a closer look at the data suggests networking has not actually decreased. It seems students are using nontraditional networking by a different name, online networking.  

The overarching connection between the top three most used resources is the opportunity for online networking. Online networking is using resources like Handshake, virtual career fairs, LinkedIn and even Twitter to make the initial connections with professionals.  From the Class of 2017 survey, 70% who utilized specific networking used connections with professionals. This includes UGA alumni, UGA faculty and professional associations. Only 30% of these students used family and friends, suggesting students are actively making new connections, instead of relying on old ones, to obtain jobs. To no one’s surprise, the job market is becoming increasingly virtual. With the help of the Career Center, our students are following suit in the job search.

Taking a closer look at these resources, the benefits of online networking is astounding. The Career Center hosts a variety of stress free virtual fairs every year. At these fairs, students are able to visit the chat rooms of a variety of employers. These companies span across a wide range of career interests. Upon entering the chat room, students will get one on one attention through the convenience of their screen.  These companies are working hard to sell themselves to the students. They are eager and happy to answer all questions. Recruiters will even give out their personal emails. Through this process, students are not only making connections that help them stand out but they are also able to discover what jobs and environment fits them best.

Need help making that online connection? Companies like Brazen make it possible for UGA students and alumni to establish professional relationships. Bethany Mills, the UGA Director of Career Development and Programs, along with a team of career consultants, work with Brazen to hold free virtual career fairs that can be accessed through students’ personal devices. Students enter a chat room of a company of interest. They chat with an UGA alum who works there for 10 minutes to ask questions and make an impression. Previous users have compared it to “speed dating” but for jobs. The Career Center also offer classes before the event on how to properly network online. With these tools at hand, UGA students are equipped to navigate the virtual job market. 

An important take away is that online resources are very important and somewhat a necessity in our current job market. However, they are more powerful when combined with other sources. According to the Class of 2017 Career Outcomes Survey, the two job search resources most used together are the Career Center and online resources. Dr. Higgins, a licensed Professional Counselor & Career Counselor who has worked in the career field for over 14 years, suggests online networking cannot take the place of in-person contact. However, it is a great starting point. She suggests sending a message to professionals through LinkedIn, the company’s Twitter or Handshake. When you do, she suggests being authentic. Make connections that matter to you and follow up on them. Employees can tell if you are truly interested. Also, use connections to explore different types of jobs and work environments that work best for you. This can be done by simply asking a UGA alum on LinkedIn about their job. Another tip from Dr. Higgins is not only should students explore the tools these sites offer, but explore how employers use the sites as well. Online sites give students the chance to be visible to companies in a way unlike there ever has been before. The Career Center is here to help you navigate this in so many ways. They host online networking events that teach you how to stand out and learn more about yourself. Another service offered is critiquing LinkedIn profiles and social media platforms. The Career Center is ready to equip students with the right tools and resources. They are at your disposal. Make an appointment today!

Class of 2018, if you have a job or are continuing your education, let us know and win prizes!

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