University students hopeful of job prospects despite 20 year low

SUCCESS: International students from the University of the Sunshine Coast graduate with hope.
SUCCESS: International students from the University of the Sunshine Coast graduate with hope. Melanie Keyte

POISED on the brink of graduation, many university students across the country are contemplating their futures, some with hope and others with trepidation.

After years of living the unique student lifestyle, plenty are grappling with expectations of securing a job in their chosen field, no easy feat considering university graduate unemployment is at a 20 year high.

However, there is still hope, as two University of the Sunshine Coast have discovered.

Former Civil engineering student James Ghent landed himself a graduate job with the firm Arup behind iconic projects such as Sydney's Opera House and Beijing's National Stadium.

The 27-year-old said his key to success was two-fold, enthusiasm and preparedness.

"The company I joined, I was always fond of, so I just kept my eye on their website to see when they began advertising for jobs,” he said.

"You've also got to be enthusiastic and motivated, I guess, and just be proud of what you've done and what you've achieved.”

Lily Arden, a graduate of business and marketing, similarly said her prospects were looking good.

When asked, the 20-year-old said while she was planning on going back to university next year for further study, she was hopeful of securing a part-time marketing job on the Coast.

Her secret? Research.

"Just do your research, I would say is the biggest thing,” she said.

"Search for jobs in areas you're interested in, and know the skills and knowledge you need to have before getting a job.”

Ms Arden also pointed to the importance of networking, which she said was a strength of the university's.

Student Development Officer Anne Bowden said university-facilitated workplace learning programs definitely helped students ease into their chosen careers.

She said from the university's graduates, 43% found jobs on the Coast, with only 10% choosing to move interstate or overseas.

Topics:  graduates jobs unemployment university university of the sunshine coast university students usc youth unemployment

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