Question about the current job market
August 25, 2008 2:31 PM   Subscribe

How are entry level jobs in your career field (US) faring right now?

Just to underscore that this isn't chatfiltery, my wife is in a research job that's gotten a bit insane, and she's thinking about quitting. She's talked about taking "any old job" for awhile, even part time, to keep some income rolling in. She's worked in retail, doctors offices, bartending, tech support, programming, and so on. How are entry level / retail job markets faring right now? Is it difficult to find work, or does it really depend, and which areas seem to be relatively tight or open? This would be in the TX and OK area, specifically.
posted by crapmatic to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm in IT. Entry level jobs are fairly easy to come by. It seems that due to the retiring of a lot of senior IT people there are people moving up the chains far too rapidly. This leads to a shortage of IT people across the board.

That said, depending on the market, entry level IT jobs can be highly competitive with degrees and certifications being deciding issues between a candidate who gets a job and a candidate who doesn't.

More, those who succeed and get promotions and out of the "barely fast food pay" level jobs are the ones who live it and love it, so if she's looking for "any old job" I DON'T recommend entering IT...she'll HATE it.
posted by arniec at 2:45 PM on August 25, 2008

I'd say hit up a temp agency near where you are and see if they have anything that's not explicitly "entry-level" could be that there are certain sectors of the economy that are exploding while others are withering, and most businesses need some office drones while people are out on maternity leave and stuff like that. Ask around.
posted by mdonley at 2:57 PM on August 25, 2008

I'm in IT too, and job availability varies widely with geography. There are lots of IT jobs available in the Bay Area, Portland, Seattle, Denver and Phoenix and very few in cities like Cleveland, Cincinnati, Sacramento and Memphis. Like arniec, I wouldn't recommend getting into IT unless she has an interest.

The best thing to do is to check Craigslist, Monster, Dice (IT jobs), HotJobs and CareerBuilder in your area to see what availability looks like.
posted by cnc at 4:02 PM on August 25, 2008

Prepress work -- absolutely terrible. The few jobs that are available are either very high-end or very low-end with unrealistic pay (sub-$10/hr in Minneapolis metro -- you can do better working retail).

A couple years ago, traditional art schools and trade schools really ramped-up their graphic design and advertising programs, turning out a lot of people that "know" Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. Unfortunately the glossy brochure promises of easy cool jobs didn't pan out; people turned to prepress as a back-up and flooded the market. (Our shop is fairly high-end and union so I don't feel the effects.)
posted by nathan_teske at 6:30 PM on August 25, 2008

Jobs with experience and/or that require specialized training or degrees are doing well, jobs with little experience required ... well, the numbers that leaked to advising staff said that the Texas A&M University Fightin' Aggie Class of 2008 had a whopping 50% placement rate after graduation this past May.

Naturally, those numbers aren't anywhere to be had in press reports. But the numbers we're seeing for applications to advanced degree programs have increased by an amount that casually suggests there may be some truth to the leak.

What my 'industry contacts' are saying is that they've pretty much stopped hiring entry level, even in energy industry, that don't have a previous connection or specialized training/knowledge that they want to acquire. No one's hiring just to fill chairs with warm butts to produce TPS reports right now.
posted by SpecialK at 8:49 PM on August 25, 2008

Oh, P.S. - If she does want to 'get out', I'd go government or public education sectors.
posted by SpecialK at 8:50 PM on August 25, 2008

I'm in law. The entry level jobs for attorneys are vanishing (with tort reform) while law school classes graduate more people.
posted by abdulf at 10:34 PM on September 4, 2008

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