Many school districts are hiring only education graduates with certifications in math, science, English as a second language or special education. The result is that more education graduates are enrolling in graduate school or moving out of state to work. Waddelow says Texas and Kansas remain heavy recruiters of teachers.
Starting salaries riseSchubert, a native Texan, didn't look out-of-state because his wife has a job here with Devon Energy. He says he may seek certification in special education to better his job chances in Oklahoma. Waugh, the landscape engineer, said staying in Oklahoma was a key reason she chose the Tulsa firm. "It was closer to home, and I like the work they did,” said the Kingfisher native. The National Association of Colleges and Employers says starting salaries are on the rise for 2007-2008 graduates. Fields with the highest increases in salary include engineering, marketing, computer science and management information systems. While finance graduates are seeing a modest 1.5 percent increase in salaries, UCO finance major Joi Bowles said she's confident the industry will recover from recent industry woes. Bowles, 21, graduates next year and hopes to find a job in personal investments. "I'm not worried about finding a job,” she said. "I want to help people who have money invest it.”
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Oklahoma State University graduate Jessica Waugh fielded several job offers as a landscape architect. Hiring managers say the job market hasn't slowed down for most Oklahoma grads. By MATT STRASEN, THE OKLAHOMAN