Local Employment Outlook Strong for Recent Graduates


May brings the promise of summer and, for Wayne College graduates, the promise of a bright future thanks to a strong local economy. Wayne County was recently recognized as fourth among 576 micropolitan areas in the country by Site Selection magazine for new business growth, which means opportunities abound for UA Wayne graduates looking to work close to home.

According to The University of Akron Vice Provost and Executive Dean Dr. Todd Rickel, nearly three out of every four UA Wayne associate degree spring graduates was placed into a job or decided to continue their education. "Those graduates earned on average $34,550, which is comparable to average salaries earned by some students graduating with bachelor’s degrees," Rickel said. He credits the career support services offered by both Wayne College and The University of Akron for helping students achieve their goals.

At the Wayne campus, career counseling is provided by the Office of Career and Assessment Services. Headed by Carol Pleuss, M.Ed, LPC, she provides professional guidance to students, beginning with helping those who enter with an undecided major to find their career path.

 “Choosing a college major can be an intimidating experience. It’s not uncommon for students to change majors at least once and even several times throughout their college career,” Pleuss said. “But the rising cost of higher education adds urgency to graduating on time and with a marketable job. We help students find that balance between their interests and abilities to determine the right career for them.”

Pleuss recently coordinated Milkshakes & Majors, an annual one-stop-shopping event she founded 10 years ago when she was looking for a fun and engaging way for students to explore all of the different majors available to them through The University of Akron system.

Students visit tables where representatives from Akron campus and Wayne College are available to answer questions. The event is also attended by the University’s Study Abroad Office and armed forces branches, providing even more opportunities for students to expand their worldview and pay for their education. Where do the milkshakes fit in? “We needed a hook the first year to introduce students to the event and it stuck,” Pleuss said. “Milkshakes just make it more fun!”

Pleuss said the role of her office is to help students make a blueprint for career success by practicing the 3 Ps: planning, persistence and preparation. “Like most decisions, it all starts with a good plan,” she explained.

The career center, as it is more commonly known, also maintains a website with current job opportunities and provides lifetime assistance with resume writing and interviewing skills. “Our office remains a resource to graduates throughout their careers. Whether they are looking at continuing education opportunities or seeking to make a job change, we are always here for them,” Pleuss said.

“Enrollment for fall 2016 is beginning soon,” Rickel added. “We encourage anyone interested in pursing a degree that will help them take advantage of the great economic opportunities available to them right here in Wayne County to attend our next Campus Visit Day on Monday, April 18 at 6 pm. Registration is available online at wayne.uakron.edu."

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