NEPA college students could see local economy's silver lining in job searches

Sep. 19—The Times-Tribune spoke to more than two dozen people from different walks of life as they confront our changing economy. Their stories will be published each day in print and at

SCRANTON — Sitting in her office at the University of Scranton, Lori Moran browses Handshake on her computer.

Students use the platform to make appointments with the university's Gerard R. Roche Center for Career Development, where Moran serves as director. The tool gives students opportunities to network and apply for jobs in a time when Moran believes they have some bargaining power.

This could mean more easily negotiating for a higher salary or a schedule that allows working remotely. It is a silver lining for students in a local economy where they, like others, face rising costs in everything from housing to products.

"Employees are a little bit more in control of their job prospects than they've ever been before, or in a long time," she said. "As we work with students, we're finding that they know what their value is, and they know their worth, and so they're looking not to necessarily settle."

Simultaneously, a lot of remote or hybrid opportunities remain after the COVID-19 pandemic caused companies to reimagine the world of work. A student in Scranton could take a remote internship with a company based on the West Coast, Moran said.

"That has opened up just a vast number of opportunities that maybe a couple of years ago, wouldn't have even been able to be something they could consider accepting," she said.

The center assists students and alumni with everything in the world of career development, from cover letter writing to internship or job searches. It also hosts events, including industry-specific job fairs with employers looking to recruit students as hiring shortages persist.

Job openings have reached near-record highs, and experts project a college hiring surge this fall, she said.

"Really, we're seeing growth and opportunities in all industries," Moran said.

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