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Over the next few weeks, thousands of students will graduate from East Tennessee colleges with hopes of joining the workforce.

Getting work is always a challenge, but the job outlook for graduates may not be as bad as it was in the past.

UT Career Services Director Russ Coughenour says there's more energy in the jobs market and it could all work in favor of students graduating from college. He says there is a desire among American businesses to bring new talent into the nation's workforce.

Read the Report:: The Job Outlook for The Class of 2014 (NACE)

"That doesn't necessarily mean they're hiring more people, it just means they're fishing around for talent, trying to find top talent," he told WBIR 10News.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers polled more than 160 businesses this Spring and learned they expect to hire 7.8 percent more graduates from the Class of 2014 than they did from the Class of 2013.

Coughenour says the fields of accounting, supply chain management and nursing all continue to be popular industries. At UT, Coughenour said graduating seniors with backgrounds in business analytics and engineering have had an easier time finding jobs too.He said it's because all of these are fields are currently witnessing a shortage of qualified applicants.

More Information: UT Alumni Career Services

"Anytime you have a large demand for a particular area and you have marginal or low supply, it's going to drive demand up," he said.

Coughenour predicted that by Thanksgiving close to 85 percent of UT graduating class will have found a job. He said another 10 to 12 percent will have decided to enroll in graduate school.

If you are still looking for a job, Coughenour advises that you do the following:

  • Apply to a wide array of available positions
  • Network with alums or through social media websites like LinkedIn
  • Practice interviewing techniques
  • Constantly tweak your resume to fit the jobs you want
  • Go where the jobs are; look for jobs outside of your geographic comfort zone

UT alums can also receive help in their job hunt from the school's alumni career services department.

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