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Grads Are Cautiously Optimistic

Posted by: Lindsey Gerdes on June 02

By: Anne Vandermey

Recession or no, for new grads, hope springs eternal. Although data show only two of every 10 2009 graduates had a job lined up as of April, more than half of graduates are “confident” they’ll get one in the next three months, according to a recent study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

That’s a heartening statistic, considering this year’s graduates are staring down the most cut-throat job market in decades. Still, that confidence shouldn’t be mistaken for naivete. The study also found that nearly two-thirds of grads are “concerned” about finding a job, and more than 60% are having a tougher time searching because of the economy.

The overlap—lots of people are both “confident” and “concerned”—is a decent reflection of how most grads I know seem to feel. It’s hard to decide whether to jump ship and find a Plan B (think grad school), or to try to look at the glass as half-full. After all, even with April’s unemployment at a whopping 9% in the U.S., about 91% of people escaped the scythe. It’s nice to know at least half of recent graduates are maintaining a healthy sense of optimism—even if the other half is terrified.

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Read daily reports and special features from BusinessWeek editors and reporters Lindsey Gerdes and Louis Lavelle about companies, careers, and other topics of interest to young professionals.

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