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Location plays crucial factor in job search

October 2, 2000

Money isn’t everything - to recent college graduates, at least.

A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers on its Web site,, shows a large salary isn’t all that determines what jobs people accept.

About 82 percent of the 1,146 people surveyed earlier this year said where the job is located geographically is important to them, while less than 8 percent said location wasn’t a factor at all.

Mimi Collins, NACE director of information, said the results were not a surprise. She said they are consistent with results obtained from previous surveys.

NACE also distributes traditional paper surveys into magazines. The results of those surveys showed job location was fourth on a list of things most important to job-seekers when looking for a position.

Room for advancement was considered most important, a good benefits package placed second, and a chance for continued education was third.

“Students are intelligent about what to look for when they are finding a job,” Collins said. “They are smart enough to understand they need to look for something that they are going to be happy with and allows them to build their skills.”

Vernicka Tyson, director of Career Services & Placement at MSU, said 70 percent of MSU graduates remain in Michigan when they accept a job after graduation and another 10 percent stay in adjacent states such as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Such figures tend to mirror the recent study, suggesting job location is important, Tyson said.

“Those numbers suggest that location is a large factor in accepting jobs for our graduates,” she said.

But Tyson also said she knows students are really looking for a distinct balance between all characteristics a job has to offer.

“Graduates are really looking for the whole package,” Tyson said. “Most importantly they are looking for somewhere that they will be able to make a meaningful contribution.”

Human biology junior Joe Pennock is one student who says that he will be looking for a balance after he graduates from MSU.

“The job itself is a huge factor,” he said. “Just the basics of what I am going to be doing is important.”

But he said even though he’s looking for a well-rounded job, location is going to play a defining role in whether or not he accepts a job.

“I don’t have anywhere specific that I want to be,” Pennock said. “But I know there are places that I don’t want to be.”

Nutritional science senior Mike Sarzynski disagrees and says that location is not all that important to him.

He said he will be flexible when looking for a job. And he wouldn’t mind fleeing from Michigan.

“I want to make it clear that I have an interest in relocating and that I wouldn’t mind having to move around for the job,” Sarzynski said.

“I have heard that flexibility makes someone more marketable and I am more than willing to do that for the ideal job that I want.”


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