By Craig Day, The News On 6
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- If OSU's career week is any indication, new college grads may have a better chance of landing a job compared to the last few years. More businesses are participating in the job fair this year.
Many soon-to-be graduates hope it's a sign of good times and good jobs to come.
The concourse around Oklahoma State's Gallagher Iba Arena was packed with soon-to-be grads.
All hope to land a job when they wrap up their college careers.
"All of the teachers make sure we know that you have to prepare yourself as much as possible," said Valerie Schell, an OSU student.
During career week at Oklahoma State, a business career fair has 124 prospective employers - and 1,600 students or recent grads looking for opportunities.
"You've just got to come to these and meet as many people as you can," said student Aaron Taylor.
Rachael Hogue is one of the job seekers. She graduated from OSU in '09, only to find one of the most difficult job markets for new grads in years.
"It's definitely hard to find something in really what you want. You kind of have to broaden your horizons and just take what you can get," she said.
But Pam Ehlers, OSU's director of career services, says there is reason for optimism this year. One good sign is a 20 percent increase in the number of businesses participating in the job fair. That includes some that had never taken part before, and others that returned after the poor economy forced an absence.
"This year, they're coming to the fair and tell us they're here to recruit - they're hiring - so we hope it's a good sign," Ehlers said.
Students also hope it's a good sign.
"That's really good to hear," said OSU student Nick Oglesbee. "The more people that are here, the better the chances we have."
Rachael Hogue is encouraged by the news too. She'll keep making contacts and delivering resumes until she lands a job with a promising future.
Many of the businesses taking part in OSU's career fair are looking to fill accounting and finance positions, which could be a sign those companies are actually starting to make money again.