Today the career management center at Columbia Business School spoke with us about the job market. Over 72% of the class of 2009 has job offers and they expect this number to rise over the next few weeks. I was braced for a lower number, so I was impressed with this figure.

The career management center is also lining up on-campus interviews for next fall, but they expect the number of firms to drop by ~20% on top of the decrease from last year. They also expect many companies to push their recruiting off until the spring given the uncertainty in the market.

There were two interesting bits that I took away from today’s meeting:
* the job market always lags the economy, so even though unemployment is still increasing (although at a slower pace), it’s likely that most companies will delay their hiring needs until they are out of this recession. So when I graduate in May 2010, things could be on the up, but given the hiring lag, it’s just as likely to be a tough market.
* networking is key to scoring a job right now. I knew this was the case for me anyway (since I’m wasn’t planning to interview for the traditional jobs that recruit on campus).