It’s no secret that college graduates have an increasingly difficult time landing jobs after finishing their degrees.
The recession has made it uniquely challenging to get hired as many businesses are downsizing to stay afloat. This has led to over 6 million U.S. citizens filing for unemployment in 2020.
“Job hunting is difficult under normal circumstances, but COVID-19 has made it exponentially harder for graduates,” said Eric Lawson, a recent BYU-Idaho alumnus. “Companies are not eager to bring in new faces when there is a surplus of industry veterans who have been let go from their companies due to quarantine. You’re not competing with other graduates, you’re competing with people who have been in your industry for decades.”
So, how are graduating seniors able to find worthwhile careers in 2020?
There isn’t a definitive answer to that — if there were everyone would be doing it. However, there are practices one can implement to help land a major-applicable job after graduation.
The first is networking, something that BYU-Idaho has been counseling students to do for years.
This age-old advice now comes with a modern caveat. Instead of building a network with everyone and anyone, studies by ECPI University suggest that it can be more beneficial for students to focus their contact networks to growing companies.
For example, a senior looking for a job by the end of the year likely won’t find one through a network of Under Armour contacts. They just laid off 6000+ employees.
Having contacts with companies like Under Armour could be extremely valuable down the road, but may not benefit the immediacy of a graduating senior’s job hunt.
It may be more beneficial for seniors to build relationships with contacts and companies that are expanding, growing and looking for young talent.
Take Amazon, for example. They recently committed to hiring 100,000 new employees.
“They have jobs for high-tech people and they have jobs for people who aren’t high-tech,” said Andrew Loughe, a senior research scientist at Amazon. “You can work at a fulfillment center and make sure that all of the packages are getting processed properly. They even have jobs for seniors where they don’t have to walk around a lot.”
BYU-I alumni can often help graduating students build connections with the right people, and as various studies suggest, meeting the right people has been shown to be more vital than having the right skills.
Here’s a list of 10 recognizable companies that are hiring in large amounts and have a high quantity of BYU-I alumni working within them.
Due to its size, Amazon offers a wide array of varying positions that can be applied to degrees in education management, sales, software development, public relations, graphic design and more. Amazon also offers training programs for recent graduates to help them adjust to more specific careers.
What The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lacks in open positions, it greatly makes up for in its network. While it may be difficult to find a position in the midst of such competition from other seniors, building a strong network with members of the Church can lead to openings in other companies that work closely with the Church, such as Deseret Book, FamilySearch and Beehive Credit Union.
A large portion of these positions are delivery-based. That being said, FedEx still offers a wide-array of sales, marketing, engineering and other positions. To view these, visit its FedEx Services, FedEx Logistics and FedEx Office sites.
Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company. The majority of its available positions are engineer-based, but like every organization on this list, it has other employment options as well.
Melaleuca is the only Idaho-based company on this list. Though not currently ranked a Fortune 500 company, it had been for five years. Melaleuca offers many employment opportunities beyond its well-known call centers and networking with someone who works there could be as easy as visiting a ward in Idaho Falls.
Microsoft is a tech giant that needs no introduction. They offer a lot of training programs for graduating students. These include everything from paid internships to extensive onboarding programs.
USAA was on the Forbes 2019 list of best companies for new graduates to work for. Its training is thorough and its benefits are extensive. That being said, the balance between work and life can be demanding, depending on which department one is hired into.
With Medicare becoming more widely adopted, United is rapidly growing. Despite this, however, its employment status is maintained through a focus on internal growth and recognizing achievements. According to its website, it keeps employees feeling empowered and capable.
Walmart topped the 2019 Fortune 500 list. It achieves this through developing young talent. Walmart pays its interns well, offering competitive pay. It also provides a clear and focused career path to keep students working after their internships are completed.
Wells Fargo offers a wide variety of possible careers outside of financial planning. On top of that, it has custom recognition programs for each level of its corporation, offering specialized rewards for each team and department.
Even though these companies don’t necessarily have large network of BYU-I alumni working for them, one can still find connections within them.