ASU graduates have reason to celebrate

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

TEMPE, Ariz. -- It's time for the “pomp and circumstance,” and that means it's time to find a job.

Lucky for the Arizona State University class of 2014, many graduates have already landed one.

“I studied accountancy, and I’m going to be working in public accounting for KPMG in San Francisco,” said Jason Scafaria.

“I studied business with a focus in global politics, minor in sustainability, and I work at SRP,” said Robyn Plyler.

Her graduation cap reads, “Educated and employed,” and you can't ask for better than that on graduation day.

It is a day that was a long time coming for Darice Harris.

“It took me 14 years actually to finish my degree doing it part time while my children were small,” Harris said. “I took out some student loans but it was worth every penny.”

Once the successful small business owner of a salon, Harris is now a college graduate and $32,000 in debt. She followed her dream and majored in Italian.

“I'm actually signed up to take the Foreign Service officer exam. I would like to go work for the state department as a Foreign Service officer, hopefully in the diplomatic corps,” she said.

Some 10,000 ASU students are graduating this spring.

David Choi, winner of the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award, graduates from the W.P. Carey School of Business with multiple degrees.

“I studied mathematics, economics and supply chain management,” he said.

Choi doesn’t have a job, but he does have a plan.

“I'm going to Stanford University next year, pursuing a master's in management, science and engineering,” he said.

No matter what the plan, many students approach graduation with mixed emotions.

“Today is depressing, but it is also exciting," said Charles Andrulis. "So it's a little bittersweet."

He is graduating Magna Cum Laude from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business and is quickly coming to grips with real world realities.

“Oh no, it's scary. I don't have a job. I need to get one,” he said.

He doesn't have a job but he does have a job offer, and that's what's unique about the class of 2014; many of the graduates have options.

According to a study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, this year businesses are hiring 8.6 percent more college graduates than they had initially planned. As a result, Sun Devils excited about graduating are more focused on the diploma than the debt.

“Just not too nervous about it. I think I should be able to pay it off since I have a job,” said Haylee Hilgers, who owes about $10,000. “I wouldn't have been able to land a job if I didn't have this degree.”

Plyler feels the same way about her debt.

“Definitely super excited to be done, and super thankful and grateful that I have a job already lined up,” she said.

The early outlook for the class of 2015 is even more promising. According to the National Association of Colleges, 43 percent of employers surveyed expect to hire more grads during their fall recruiting than they did the year before.