How Fresno State is helping grads find jobs amid COVID-19

It's not an easy time for graduates trying to enter the workforce in 2020.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's not an easy time for graduates trying to enter the workforce in 2020.

Fresno State graduate Steven Loa started looking for jobs back in March and says the process wasn't easy.

"It was incredibly stressful, on top of finals, on top of trying to finish with a strong GPA, you're trying to transition to the work world," Loa said.

The coronavirus pandemic made it even more of a challenge.

"I had a couple of jobs that were immediately rejected within the week because they had stopped hiring for the position," Loa said. "Only essential employees were being hired."

His hard work paid off, landing him a job with BSK Associates.

"The job I got was through Zoom interviews, which, that's something I think other classes hadn't had to deal with that much," Loa said.

He is one of the roughly 32% of Fresno State student graduates from this year that are working full-time.

"There are still really good pockets of hiring going on," said Director of the Career Development Center at Fresno State, Debbie Young. "There are good industries."

The Fresno State Career Development Center has gone 100% virtual to find their students' jobs by hosting Zoom advising sessions, virtual career fairs and mock interviews.

"COVID-19 has brought a difficult job market," Young said. "There were a lot of layoffs and furloughs of people."

A huge help for local graduates is the ag industry positions open in the Valley.

"Really strong is the ag industry," Young said. "People are working in the wine industry with chemistry and biology degrees, so ag is powerful. Ag hires all majors."

About 80% of Fresno State graduates stay in the region after they get their degrees.
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