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Uncertain job prospects greet Wisconsin college grads

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Thousands of Wisconsin college students graduated over the weekend – and many still face uncertain job prospects in the wake of the Great Recession.

UW-Madison career services’ director Leslie Kohlberg said hiring for new graduates is up, but it’s still well below the pace from 2008 before the recession began in earnest.

As a result, Kohlberg said graduates have toned down expectations for their first jobs out of school. She told WISC-TV in Madison that before the recession, “They thought they were going to get six-figure salaries and bonuses.”

Kohlberg said today’s graduates have been in college throughout the weak economy. Still, she said more employers are hiring these days, and starting salaries are going up in many college degree fields.

In Milwaukee Sunday, comedian Bill Cosby received an honorary doctorate degree at Marquette. He told the grads to remember their school’s values of respect, integrity, and a responsibility to serve others.

At UW-Milwaukee, Baseball Commissioner and former Brewers’ owner Bud Selig told grads to have an impact on others – and he cited Jackie Robinson as an example. Robinson broke the Major League color barrier, and the UWM baseball team plans to retire his Number 42 after this spring.