US tech grad who can't find job sues to get tuition back

Offers for university grads are down generally because of the recession

Job offers for IT graduates are generally down across the board, but that's not stopping a New York woman from suing to get her tuition money back.

Trina Thompson is suing Monroe College's office of career advancement because she claims that the college has 'not tried hard enough to help me,' according to court papers.

Thompson, who graduated in April with a bachelor's degree in information technology is seeking $US70,000 in tuition costs. The lawsuit also seeks an additional $US2,000 "for the stress I have been going through looking for a full-time job on my own."

The lawsuit, a handwritten claim with few details, according to documents available online, was filed July 24 in Superior Court in the Bronx. Thompson could not be reached for comment. The New York Postwas the first to report on the suit.

In response to Thompson's action, Monroe College Director of public relations Gary Axelbank offered up an e-mail statement saying the college still wants to help Thompson find work. "While it is clear that no college, especially in this economy, can guarantee employment, Monroe College remains committed to working with all its students, including Ms. Thompson," the statement said. Moreover, Monroe said it "has increased its staffing of career counselors" to help students deal with the "challenging economy."

Monroe offers an IT program that focuses on practical job skills, with a curriculum that includes programming, hardware, networking, security and database management, among other things.

For graduates generally, "the job prospects are down all across the board," said Edwin Koc, director of strategic and foundation research at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) in Bethlehem, Penn.

Approximately 49 per cent of the computer science students received at least one job offer prior to graduation, according to NACE's survey of graduates this past spring; In 2007, nearly 70 per cent of the students received offers. The only students who were more likely to have a job offer prior to graduation were accountants, at just over 53 per cent.

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Patrick Thibodeau

Computerworld (US)

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