DAVENPORT — As the 2019-20 academic year concluded last week for St. Ambrose University students, the job outlook is positive for its more than 520 graduates, university officials say.
Local, regional and national employers are hiring, according to a poll taken during an April 28 virtual town hall hosted by St. Ambrose University and the Illinois schools of Augustana College-Rock Island, Black Hawk College-Moline, and Western Illinois University-Moline.
Despite the pandemic, “Our students are going to find employment,” said Emily Rollins, director of the SAU Career Center. “It may look different than it usually looks like, the recruitment process and the kinds of jobs that are available, but employers are hiring.”
More than 90 employers participated in the town hall meeting and represented a range of professional sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, education, advertising, insurance, accounting, technology, security, transportation and human services.
Those employers were polled during the event, and 61 percent of respondents said they were actively hiring now and 15 percent plan to resume hiring as soon as stay-at-home restrictions are lifted. A month ago, the SAU Career Center polled 84 employers with similar results: 65 percent said they were actively recruiting and/or hiring or would resume doing so within the next one to six months.
“Hiring is going to look different, and there are likely to be more virtual events and interviews. For our students and graduates, it means some offers may be delayed, but there are still jobs for them. If they are patient and continue to work with us and the people in their network, they are going to find employment,” Rollins said.
While some companies are delaying or canceling summer internships due to the pandemic, Rollins said remote opportunities are available. “A lot of companies are good about shifting things to help a student have an internship and gain hands-on skills in the field. It is going to look different because it is virtual, but we are working with employers to see how we can help them supplement the experience. Students should keep looking for internships and reach out if they need any assistance.”