Job outlook better than fair Prospects: At the Central Maryland College Job Fair, the message to degree holders was, "The world is your oyster."

January 15, 1998|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,SUN STAFF

Tarsha Lomax, 22, a freshman majoring in pre-engineering and mathematics at Coppin State College, was looking for a summer internship or a chance to persuade a company to create one for her. By midday, she said she had a few prospects to follow up.

Although the Woodlawn resident offered scientific and technical potential, the 145 companies and agencies represented at the 31st annual Central Maryland College Job Fair yesterday at Towson University were seeking permanent employees, most of them at entry level.

The jobs available spanned the employment horizon, albeit with an emphasis on scientific and computer skills.

"For anyone with a college degree, the world is their oyster," said Cynthia A. Applin, director of the TU Career Center. Graduates with computer or technical degrees at the bachelor's or master's level are most in demand, she said.

The job fair was sponsored by a consortium of local colleges and businesses. By midday, about 1,200 prospective job candidates had registered. Applin said 1,920 candidates representing 171 colleges attended last year.

At the other end of the spectrum from the Coppin freshman was the couple from India, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions who want to change from research to work on medical and scientific journals.

Dr. Shree Kant Gokhale, 63, a physician who specializes in clinical pharmacology at the Hopkins oncology center, said his research grant has expired. He said he has worked as a scientific and medical writer and editor and hopes to move into that field full time.

"We're just looking around to see if there's anything here for us," said his wife, Dr. Mamata Gokhale, 42, a biochemist at the Hopkins School of Public Health, who has been researching environmental chemistry and risk analysis. "I'm ready to move on, into information systems, scientific editorial work."

The Gokhales stopped to chat with a representative of Columbia-based RWD Technologies Inc., a consulting firm.

"We're looking for technical people, engineers, computer scientists who are good communicators, both orally and in writing," said RWD project manager Gary Neights. "If they have some business savvy, that's good because the bottom line is that we are dealing with businesses."

One of the fair's sponsors was Aerotek Inc., which supplies contract, or temporary, employees in a growing number of fields, especially engineering.

Aerotek has added a division to supply accounting and clerical temporary workers, said Sheri Trader, a company recruiter. Because of the expansion, it is offering 200 permanent jobs at corporate headquarters at Hanover, near Baltimore-Washington International Airport, for people with business or accounting skills.

Towson University has been a fruitful source, with eight graduates on board, Trader said. Aerotek assembled a team of TU graduates as recruiters for yesterday's fair and met several prospects who will be invited for interviews, she said.

The businesses and agencies represented were as diverse as those who were looking for work.

Dee H. Davis, regional human resources director for Toys 'R' Us and its related companies, said she wants men and women with business or marketing degrees, or practical experience, who are interested in retailing.

"I focus not on their degrees but on their interest in retailing," she said. "I want people who want to be retail managers. They have to believe in it."

Even the Navy was on hand, with opportunities for physicians, dentists, medical service officers, pilots, surface-warfare officers and intelligence officers, said Lt. Bryan Cheeseman. But chaplains are among the Navy's critical needs. Said Cheeseman, "We're hurting for chaplains."

Pub Date: 1/15/98

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