How to get a job in San Antonio after graduation
Published: August 29, 2012
Keep your eyes on the prize. College students have long been encouraged to focus on the end goal of employment while studying. Don’t get a degree in philosophy. Work an internship. Network. Getting a good job in San Antonio, a large city with a competitive labor pool, requires all of the above. In short: post-grad employment begins pre-grad.
Picking something that just sounds like fun is no longer — if it ever was — the right way to pick a field of study and a career. It’s essential to find something that is a good fit for making a living.
“It’s sad to see when people enter into jobs that they’re not particularly interested in and they don’t find it fulfilling, and then you see behaviors come out of that where they start that job-hopping behavior,” said Audrey Magnuson, director of UTSA’s career services office. “So that’s not really what you want to do. You want to do a little exploration.”
Students today tend to graduate with more than just their degree on their resume. Practical experience is valuable in nearly every field. “The one’s who are doing internships are usually finding better connections, because they can usually get opportunities with the organization that they worked with previously,” said Twyla Hough, assistant director at Trinity University’s career services office. “Or a competition or someone else will see that they’ve done an internship doing the type of work they need to do, and they’ll be more willing to hire them than someone who hasn’t,”
Another major benefit of these internships is that they can help keep students from heading down the wrong path. Both Hough and Magnuson said that they have seen students come back from internships only to decide they had no interest in working in the field they had planned on pursuing.
While finding a good fit is important, not all majors are equal. Many of the majors that translate well into careers in San Antonio are the predictable sort. “Engineering, accounting, information systems, computer science; those are the ones that I would tell you are the top recruiting areas,” Magnuson said. “The ones that are having the most trouble can be the ones that are usually liberal art or don’t have any direct application.”
That doesn’t mean graduates can’t get a job immediately, it just means they have to find the fit.
Three fields are booming right now in the Alamo City: energy, cyber-technology, and healthcare.
San Antonio’s economy has been bolstered by oilfield development across South Texas' Eagle Ford shale formation, a benefit to job seekers across the board. A study earlier this year found that the development in the oil patch increased revenues in the state by over $350 million in its first year and the 10-year forecast shows more economic prosperity to come. San Antonio is also home to the headquarters of Valero and Tesoro, two major players in the energy game.
Clean energy is also starting to flourish and is expected to grow. UTSA’s Texas Sustainable Research Initiative is training engineering students to be a part of the San Antonio’s shift toward cleaner power sources like wind and solar. Green energy is also one of Mayor Castro’s focuses, so it won’t be surprising to see this industry expand here.