In December, nearly 3,400 students graduated and received degrees from the university. In a couple of weeks, another 5,000 students will be awarded their degrees and sent out into the real world. Reality comes quite quickly, especially for undergraduate students who spend between four to six years at the university, enjoying the security of being a student. Any senior right now can agree that it is a scary, yet exciting feeling for college to come to an end. This fear often comes from the uncertainty of what life may be like after NC State.

The university places emphasis on how NC State degrees get jobs or NC State degrees get you into great graduate and professional degree programs, but a lot of people can agree that this may be easier said than done. While having NC State listed on your resume may help you stand out in the massive group of recent college graduates who are desperate for employment, it is still very challenging to find a job and/or get into graduate’s school.

Many students have absolutely no idea what to do after graduation and are worried about being able to find a job. Many college students are also either unemployed or underemployed for months or even years after graduation. Others have received that feeling of relief after finally getting accepted into a graduate/ professional school. They are comfortable knowing that they have another 2-8 years of education to complete, knowing they have their academics to put first and the responsibilities of the real world aren’t coming just yet.

According to Graduating Senior Surveys the university has conducted in the past, nearly half of graduating students are currently seeking or plan to seek paid employment. Many people who are attending graduate school are also interested in a job to support themselves through their studies. For students that may be worried about the struggle to find a job, there are options that the university provides that makes this transaction a little easier. Many professors and former students suggest planning as early as possible for life after NC State. Attending career fairs and networking events will give you ideas of what kind of job you would like to have and prepare you for interacting with employers when the time for job hunting comes along. Attending fairs and networking could also increase your chances of having a job lined up for you after graduation.

The University Career Center has tons to offer students and grads, including guidance in interviewing skills, cover letter and resume building, job searching and entering graduate’s school. You can visit the Career Development Center’s website at http://www.ncsu.edu/career/. Here you can stay updated on events and career fairs that may be happening in the area, and find internships and entry level jobs. The CDC also provides the university’s own version of Monster. com or CareerBuilder.com, called ePack. ePack is a database of career-related internship and entry level job listings by employers who specifically want NC State students. Checking this website each day could help you find the job you were looking for, or a temporary job until you can find the right one. You can visit the ePack website at www.ncsu.edu/epack.

If you are planning on going to graduate, law or medical school, the best thing to do is to try to prepare for that as early as possible. Start early in talking to your academic adviser, getting recommendation letters from teachers, researching potential programs, and studying for the standardized exams. This can be challenging as well, especially for students who are not completely sure what exactly what they want to do after graduating or are bouncing from major to major. Even with being accepted into graduate school, there are new responsibilities that come with that as well. You may be required to relocate or find a job to help pay for your education. Courtney Jones, a senior and soon to be graduate in Psychology is currently facing those challenges, but says “

She received a lot of support from her advisers and professors in her graduate school hopes, and as a result she was recently accepted into the Clinical and Mental Health Counseling program at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. It’s very important that students take advantage of the resources and support the university provides. It makes the transition out of college and into the real world much easier.