SIOUX FALLS, SD -
When the current batch of May college grads started school, the future didn't look so bright. Four years ago, we were in the Great Recession and the job market was tough for those just getting out of school.
Rachael Andersen just got her teaching degree from South Dakota State University and now she's in the classroom. But this isn't a full-time gig for Andersen. She's subbing in the Catholic School System while she looks for a permanent position.
"They have several different teacher fairs around the area. I'm hoping to go to one or two of those and just see where people are from and where I could go from here. I'm open to anything," Andersen said.
Ideally, Andersen would like to stay in Sioux Falls to teach, but she started her job search a little late after deciding not to move to Kansas City following graduation.
"I was a little discouraged at first, being a teacher because most teachers get hired early in the summer and I missed my chance for that," Andersen said.
It's almost an opposite story for Augustana College Graduate Kristina Johnson. She planned to move to Minneapolis after graduation, but instead had better luck finding a marketing job in Sioux Falls.
"I'm finishing my internships and going right into a full-time job," Johnson said.
Johnson just got that job as an account coordinator at Click Rain, an Internet marketing firm, last week. She realized she had to network through her two internships in marketing at local organizations to find a position.
"It's important to have experience, but having someone who's worked with you, knows you personally it really gives you a lot of credibility," Johnson said.
Johnson was a little surprised it only took her month to get hired.
"Well the job market's pretty good here, I guess. I was really grateful," Johnson said.
"We've seen a really busy flow of positions in accounting, in business; the banking financial services industry seems to be really strong," Director of Augustana's Career Center Sandi Vietor said.
Augustana says its placement rate for May grads of 2012 after eight months was 98 percent and they expect it to be just as good if not better this year.
"I think this year is going to be an excellent year for placement for everyone. There are jobs out there. The employers would really tell you that,” Vietor said.
And even though it may take some of these recent grads a little longer than others to land their dream jobs, the market is looking a whole lot different than when they started down the path toward college graduation.
"When we started college, it was kind of like, not doomsday-ish, but will we be able to find a job when we get out? And the results have been really great for us," Johnson said.
And while many of Augustana's students come here from out-of-state, the school says the healthy job market here has many of them staying on after graduation.
Engineering students have the best luck in finding a job right after graduation. Graduates in education and health fields, as well as math and computers also do well.
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