Emory Report

April 13, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 28

Supply and demand dictate
'banner year' for recruiting

Liberal arts majors with technical skills should have relatively little trouble finding a job this year, according to Emory Career Center Director Tariq Shakoor, who-along with his colleagues at other universities-experienced a "banner year" in on-campus recruiting, career fairs and job offers to students.

"It's a simple case of supply and demand," Shakoor said. "There aren't enough computer science/engineering graduates in the marketplace. Employers know they can train liberal arts majors in technical areas-and they also appreciate the academic background, intellectual curiosity and leadership/interpersonal skills they bring to the job."

Opportunities for law school graduates and MBAs are also on the rise. The job market for law graduates continues to improve, both in Atlanta and across the country, according to Carolyn Bregman, assistant dean for career services at Emory Law School.

"We're already about two months ahead of where we were last year in number of job listings," Bregman said. "It's a hopeful sign, and the job market seems to be generally stronger among people I've talked to all over the country."

She also is seeing aggressive recruiting by law firms in small- and mid-sized cities who are pitching competitive starting salaries, a moderate cost of living and a less-hectic quality of life. "Firms recruiting here from Birmingham pointed out that you don't have to commute an hour and a half to work and back, and that more affordable homes are available closer to the office. It's a different spin on life," Bregman said.

Emory MBAs can anticipate receiving more offers and higher starting salaries this spring, according to Samantha Renfroe, director of MBA career services. Incentives companies are offering to newly minted MBAs include signing bonuses and the promise of annual bonuses based on company performance.

As in previous years, Renfroe said, Emory students are benefiting from the "insatiable appetite for MBAs," of consulting firms. Last year more than 30 percent of Emory's MBA class went into consulting, a field that continues to boom with all the deregulation and merger-and-acquisition activity in the telecommunications, energy and utilities industries. Commercial banks also are hiring more MBAs, Renfroe said, because they've taken on more of the responsibilities of brokerage firms and need employees with more technical expertise than in the past.

Regardless of the state of the job market, Shakoor advises students to get acquainted with career center services early in their college careers.

-Nancy Seideman

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