The semester is well underway and many students who expect to graduate in December are actively seeking jobs. One place professors and Career Services encourage students to go is the career fair. It was advertised that over 100 employers would be at the fair, but it was not made clear that some of the available positions do not require a college degree.
Some of the employers included Chick-fil-A, Walgreens, Alorica, Dillon’s, Sears and Sherwin-Williams. While some may argue that many management positions prefer a college degree, it is not a requirement for most positions. There is little room for advancement in local management roles. Some may also point out that there are corporate positions available within these companies, which is true, but take note: Chick-fil-a is headquartered in Atlanta, Walgreens and Sears in Illinois, Alorica in California, and Sherwin Williams in Ohio. However, the recruiters at the career fair are not seeking people for their corporate offices, they are seeking people to fill their lower-paying, local, entry-level jobs.
In a way, having a sparse selection of employers at the career fair devalues the degrees offered at Washburn. Cerner, Garmin, Sprint, and Burns and McDonnell were not at the Washburn fair. Due to “low student interest,” large employers from other cities are not at the fair. Career Services suggests that students interested in opportunities with large, Kansas City-based companies seek out career fairs at other universities.
While the selection of regional employers was limited, some notable Topeka companies were in attendance, such as BNSF, Westar Energy, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Payless ShoeSource, Security Benefit, Advisors Excel, and Hill’s Pet Nutrition. If students are looking to stay local, the Washburn Career Fair is an opportunity to have a worthwhile experience. If students want to start their professions elsewhere, there are additional career and hiring fairs at Kansas State University, The UnIversity of Kansas, and TechWeek KC.