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Dec 13, 2009 3:02 PM by Monica Quintero

Students graduate in tough job market

Is the value of a degree dropping? It's a question many are asking. One national group says college graduates carried about $23,000 in debt in 2008. Here's the comparison though-- the job rate. Another national group reports encouraging news. It says there are small signs of improvement this month. Twenty-eight percent of employers plan to increase their college hiring. Last month, it was just 26 percent.

We asked new Cal Poly graduates for their perspectives. In fact, it's a new beginning for hundreds of Cal Poly students. Nearly 800 graduated on Saturday from the university during its annual fall commencement. Kiki Kornblatt, a Cal Poly graduate, said, "I'd actually be more excited if I had a job and knew I was moving somewhere rather than home." Kornblatt is not alone when it comes to graduating and looking for a job. Danielle Abuan, another Cal Poly graduate, is in the same situation. Abuan said, "I hope employers see that I worked hard to get a bachelor's and I value education. I hope they're going to take that to heart and hopefully hire me."

Despite the state of the economy and concerns over the jobless rate, both graduates are optimistic about the future and are thrilled to be receiving their degrees. Abuan said, "Even if I don't get a great job right off the bat from graduating, I really value education and I think that's one of the most important things you can do for yourself. " Kornblatt said, "I know I have a great community in San Luis Obispo. I've got a great community outside of San Luis Obispo that are willing to have me live on their couch for a couple of weeks if I want to." It's a new chapter in their lives and the graduates we talked with say a degree is essential in this competitive job market. Cal Poly held three graduation ceremonies on Saturday.

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