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Spring Verdure Issue (May)


Within a severe job search environment, students enter a wide range of fields

Job search conditions in the 2009 academic year

The job market in the 2009 academic year was described by the mass media as a “return of the employment ice age.” Although 2008 began with an optimistic mood regarding the unprecedentedly favorable market for job seekers, such optimism was quickly dispersed by the Lehman Shock of September 2008 and the ensuing worldwide recession. Some students who had just begun their job search at the time of the recession even said that “I wish I had been born a year earlier.”

Still a healthy desire at corporations to hire outstanding candidates

However, while exchanging information with the recruitment staff of corporations, it has become obvious that the current severe business conditions have created a strong desire in corporations to hire outstanding candidates who will become key employees. This desire is reflected in the “application ratio for university graduates” (estimated number of job openings compared to the number of applicants seeking positions at private corporations; based on a survey by Works Institute Recruit Co., Ltd.), a number which serves as an index for the recruitment conditions of university graduates. The application ratio for March 2010 graduates is 1.62. Although this is a significant decrease compared to the ratio of 2.14 which existed in the previous academic year, the calculation still shows that 162 job openings exists for every 100 students.

In the previous employment ice age, corporations placed extreme restrictions on hiring. These restrictions had an adverse effect on the subsequent structure of personnel. Learning from this past mistake, many corporations have been placing priority on the hiring of new graduates. Some medium and small-sized corporations even view the current economic situation as a good chance to obtain outstanding personnel. Instead of applying exclusively to popular corporations which are inundated with job seekers, students can greatly expand their job search possibilities by considering other quality corporations such as business-to business corporations (companies providing services to corporate customers).

The key is a broad perspective and a large amount of activity

In order to conduct a successful job search, it is necessary to 1) start looking early, 2) meet with many working adults such as Waseda alumni, and 3) contact a large number of corporations. This past year has shown that students who conduct a large amount of job searching activities are able to find corporations which match their personal skills and interests.

Currently, a report is being created that summarizes the paths taken by September 2009 and March 2010 graduates. Among the 9,147 undergraduate students that participated in the report, 5,750 (62.9%) entered employment and 2,239 (24.5%) continued their education. Among the 2,501 graduate students (master's program) that participated in the report, 1,699 (67.9%) entered employment. These numbers show a decrease in the overall employment rate and also show a conspicuous increase in the number of undergraduate students choosing to continue their studies at graduate schools or other education facilities.

When examining employers by industry, financial institutions and manufacturers continue to occupy a large percentage. There has also been a significant decrease in mass communication and advertising, and an increase in infrastructure-related employers and rural public officials. These changes reflect the current job search conditions (refer to chart).

Job search support

The Career Center holds a great number of career formation and job search support events throughout the year. In addition, our center plans to further improve contact between students and corporations by inviting quality corporations to directly visit the university campus. We also provide individual consultation for more than 8,000 students each year. If you know any students having trouble with their job search, please recommend that they visit the Career Center as soon as possible.

Career Center Website

Paths taken by students in the 2009 academic year
  Participating students Employment Continued Education Certification Examination Other, Undecided
Undergraduate 9,147
Graduate 2,501

*Percentage of students participating in report: Undergraduate 94.1%, Graduate 86.0%, Total 92.2%

Job search conditions by industry for the 2009 academic year (undergraduate/graduate)
Industry Number of Employed Students
No. of Students Ratio
Agriculture 3 0.04%
Mining 12 0.16%
Construction 167 2.24%
Food Manufacturing 185 2.48%
Textiles 6 0.08%
Textiles Product Manufacturing 24 0.32%
Lumber/Wood Product Manufacturing 2 0.03%
Pulp/Paper Manufacturing 20 0.27%
Newspaper 66 0.89%
Publishing 80 1.07%
Printing 57 0.77%
Chemicals 247 3.32%
Coal/Oil Product Manufacturing 32 0.43%
Rubber Product Manufacturing 21 0.28%
Ceramic/Cement Product Manufacturing 34 0.46%
Steel 52 0.70%
Nonferrous Metals Manufacturing 42 0.56%
Metallic Products Manufacturing 22 0.30%
General Machine/Device Manufacturing 117 1.57%
Electronic Machine/Device Manufacturing 362 4.86%
Transportation Machine/Device Manufacturing 179 2.40%
Precision Machine/Device Manufacturing 77 1.03%
Other Manufacturing 45 0.60%
General Trading Company 119 1.60%
Mid-Size Trading Company 8 0.11%
Specialized Trading Company 51 0.68%
Wholesale 268 3.60%
Department Store/Supermarket 79 1.06%
Clothing/Accessory Retail 40 0.54%
Food Retail 12 0.16%
Restaurant/Bar 25 0.34%
Automotive/Bicycle Retail 2 0.03%
Furniture/Fixtures Retail 27 0.36%
Other Retail 59 0.79%
Government Financial Institution 72 0.97%
Normal Bank 405 5.44%
Trust Bank 66 0.89%
Foreign Bank 9 0.12%
Credit Union/Credit Association 24 0.32%
Other Financial 59 0.79%
Securities 138 1.85%
Life Insurance 228 3.06%
Casualty Insurance 191 2.56%
Mutual-Aid Program 19 0.26%
Real Estate 125 1.68%
Travel 57 0.77%
Transportation 285 3.83%
Communication 268 3.60%
Utilities 128 1.72%
Education (National/Public/Prefectural University) 117 1.57%
Education (Private University) 145 1.95%
Education (Other) 74 0.99%
Broadcasting 146 1.96%
Advertising 91 1.22%
Production 68 0.91%
News Agency 4 0.05%
Information Services 530 7.12%
Specialized Services 343 4.60%
Travel/Entertainment/Leisure 88 1.18%
Medicine/Health 22 0.30%
Religion 7 0.09%
NPO 96 1.28%
Other Services 192 2.58%
National Public Officer 118 1.58%
Local Public Officer 379 5.09%
International Officer 2 0.03%
Foreign Corporation 42 0.56%
Resume Previous Occupation/Self-Employed 369 4.95%

*All charts are current as of April 7th, 2010.