How the innovation effect is absorbing students into startups and traditional bellweather companies

I want to continue to respond to news of mass layoffs and increased unemployment, and to survey news in regional newspapers regarding student matriculation. Some regions have a different perspective than others, and benefit and suffer from different characteristics.

For example, folks in the Boston area are tapping into energy startups for job leads. MBA students are going in packs to speak with CEOs of those firms, who expect to attract increased venture investment as the President initiates more programs sympathetic with their nascent industry.

Law students are feeling some pessimism, and are lowering their expectations. This bucks the recent trend, year over year, that pointed to increased need for lawyers. Since the dot-com boom of the late 90’s, bright students have increased MBA enrollment, computer science enrollment, and have chosen to stay away from the law. I know that my firm has economized on law expenses as best as it can, but end up spending on lawyers’ time. I know that 3L (third year law students) employment will trend toward economization (lower benefits, frozen salary bonuses), but this seems typical across the entire labor economy.

Louisiana colleges report good placement. This signals healthy economic recovery relative to recent years, where shipping capacity, oil refinement, tourism, and home construction went into post-hurricane Katrina recovery mode. I would expect that oil traffic, as well as food traffic through the Gulf would have steadily increased since 2005, when the area was blighted.

As I indicated in recent posts, tech startups continue to attract capital, despite a compromised venture climate. Right now investors want to be invested in industries with a solid business plan, with certain revenue streams. Long term projects that are attracting investment have likely marketability within the contexts of information technology, biotech and energy. This pattern will likely intensify as the energy roadmap under the new Presidency are finalized.

Certain patterns hold true for each region:

Networking is key. Locating businesses for whom you are prepared to add value, and generating personal contacts there, remains a vital trick for the job search. Here are some fundamentally good moves:

  1. College hiring fairs continue to generate applicants. Companies continue to recruit in-person. Companies with past-bubble operations (ie, mortgages) are stalling hiring, versus traditional businesses, with robust/consistent models continue to need new recruits.
  2. Healthcare is expanding
  3. Engineering holds steady
  4. get an internship. Despite the trend toward offering them, it’s increasingly harder to recruit students to take them. (how does one find the right intern?)

In many ways, when you look at current trends, one wonders why the scare is necessary. People need more effort to secure jobs right now, but we hope that will change when we go online. We think that recruiters will favor the low-energy model we propose, where they can locate talented new recruits via research papers, and speed the way to securing new talent.

Also, we see companies doing new things within their business model to favor new talent. IBM has been a star this past week, announcing a new technology campus next to Michigan State University, where it will absorb 1500 computer science graduates. The city government gave IBM an excellent incentive package to move there. IBM currently excels analyst estimates for earnings per share, based on strong consulting services contracts. Since IBM sold its laptop manufacturing unit to Lenovo, it has increased its bottom line, selling the time and brainpower of its armies of CS graduates…


About stefan bund

Founder of Next Acropolis. MS in Information Systems and Technology, Claremont Graduate University... Background in software engineering and teaching.
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