TYLER (KYTX) - Many East Texas college students walked the stage to become graduates Saturday.
A lot of those students are leaving college with something many graduates haven't had since the start of the great recession - jobs.
It's Kayla Byrd's big day and as she sits among fellow students at her graduation ceremony, she's not worrying about getting a job. She's already got on of those!
"I work for an oil and gas company but we also do some real estate as well," she said.
According to information released by the Associated Press, it's a trend across the country this year. Campus job fairs were packed this spring, and more companies are hiring. Students aren't just finding good opportunities, some are weighing multiple offers.
"I've actually had quite a few job opportunities since May, so it's been nice," said marketing grad Austin Norville. He got his oil industry job in July.
He says landing a job is all about networking.
"Since I'm a marketing major I joined the National Marketing Association. I also went to meetings, handing out business cards with my name and graduation date on it," Norville said.
Byrd credits her job search success with starting early and avoiding unemployment situations graduates have faced since 2008.
"I knew with the economy, the way the job market was, I was so scared that I was going to get out of school and not have a job, and with student loans, that's a scary thought so I started looking early," she said.
The trend is a good sign but the job market remains tough. Hiring is not back to its pre-recession level, and plenty of seniors are leaving campuses without jobs.
However, students like Byrd and Norville are proof that things, are looking up.
"Start looking, be persistent, and set your standards high," Byrd says to students looking for jobs.
The study shows a lot of today's students have become more realistic about their job searches because of the recession.
Seniors are instead focusing on stepping-stone positions that will hopefully lead to better opportunities.