Dothan, AL (WSFA) – It's graduation season, and thousands of students in Alabama will soon get their degrees.
And after a tough decline in hiring last year, experts say things are looking up for this year's graduates.
Tonya Alexander is one of those soon-to-be graduates.
She'll graduate from Wallace Community College next week, with a PTA degree, or Physical Therapist Assistant.
"The hardest part was just getting out there and applying. You've got to do it to get a response. I spent a lot of time searching through job openings contacting hiring agencies."
And for Alexander, the work paid off. She has a job waiting for her when she graduates.
She and her fellow 2010 graduates have a more promising job outlook than last year's.
In fact, employers expect to hire 5.3% more college grads this year than last.
It's something Electronic Systems Technology Instructor Tony Kelley has seen firsthand.
He said, "We noticed we had a tough time placing our students last year, and it seems to be getting much better."
Experts say fields like Healthcare and Technology will see the biggest growth this year.
Sally Buchanan, Public Relations Director at Wallace Community College in Dothan, says they're gearing their programs to fit that demand.
She said, " The beauty of the community college is the ability to work with the local businesses and industries to make sure that we are meeting their immediate workforce needs. In that respect, our students are geared to fill very specific jobs."
That's good news for students like Michaela Mullen, who is set to graduate next May.
She said, "You've got to take in everything you can from the program, so when you get to your clinical rotations, you're ready for it."
She says she's ready to put in the work, so this time next year, she can join the ranks of the working college graduates.