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UW-Madison seniors struggle to secure jobs

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Jobs are hard to come by for college seniors with fewer entry-level opportunities available.

Noah Williams, a UW-Madison economics professor, says the job market it is "difficult" to find entry-level positions.

"We actually have seen job openings bounce back to pre-pandemic levels, but a lot of those openings are for more experienced workers," Williams said.

UW-Madison seniors are feeling this shift with the number of jobs and internships offered through campus services liked Handshake dropping 30%.

Rebekah Paré, associate dean of the undergraduate career initiative and executive director of SuccessWorks, considers the job market to be "tight" for seniors.

"It is a challenging time for seniors, I think what we're experiencing is a very unpredictable labor market for college students," Paré said.

UW-Madison senior Elle Leary is disappointed with the lack of opportunities she's been able to find.

"I was expecting to find a lot more. Even internships, there are some things but they'll be hiring two people, and it's open to everyone," Leary said.

Other seniors like Claire Ficarella are relieved to have a job secured.

"I've known my job plans throughout this year, which has been super nice. But I know that is definitely not the experience for all my friends," Ficarella said.

Instead of immediately accepting a full-time job, some students are opting for a gap year or preparing for graduate school. Paré says students should be able to find a job, even if it's not exactly what they wanted.

Tyson Holtz graduated from UW-Madison this December. He says he applied to around 100 jobs—only to hear back from two places.

"There are so many times where I'd just be like, applying for jobs feeling hopeless," he said. "And then eventually it came."

Paré says students will be facing more candidates who have been out of work and with more experience. She says job-seekers should know how to showcase their strengths to employers.

"Students really need to make sure that they're well prepared and show up well at these opportunities," she said.

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