University of Dayton to celebrate 2020 grads; How the job market has changed since then

DAYTON — Better late than never for the University of Dayton class of 2020.

UD will have its long-awaited cap and gown celebration for the class after COVID-19 canceled the ceremony two years ago.

“It’s a mix of nostalgia and I guess it almost feels like coming back home,” said Nick Salvino, UD class of 2020.

When the class of 2020 graduated during the height of the pandemic, finding work was a challenge.

“It was kind of tough because so between May to November of 2020 there weren’t a whole lot of opportunities,” Salvino told News Center 7′s Brandon Lewis.

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Fellow graduate Aaron Winfrey agreed.

“It was a little bit of a struggle for me just because the field that I graduated with, they weren’t necessarily hiring,” Winfrey said.

But things look much different this year.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, employers plan to hire almost 27 percent more class of 2022 grads than 2021 grads.

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Despite the tough job market early on in the pandemic, some 2020 grads said they had offers before graduation.

“I actually had a job already set up when COVID hit and I work there now so that was really lucky of me,” Infante said.

The pandemic taught these grads perseverance.

“All the graduates had to adapt to what happened so there is a difference but I don’t think there’s any real change in the opportunities in what’s available. It’s just depending on that student’s drive to find what they want to do,” Salvino said.

The NACE survey also states that 60 percent of responding employers planned to increase hires this year, that number was around 16 percent last year.