ATLANTA -- Hard work inside and outsidethe classroom has already helped many Georgia Tech grads land jobs in a tough, but improving economy.

PHOTO GALLERY | A New Beginning for Georgia Tech Grads

"It feels really good," said math major Rachael Wallace. "It took a load off my mind and made it more exciting to graduate."

"I got a job, as well," said biomedical engineering major Zachary Gassman. "But I applied to like 50 jobs and got denied 49 times until I finally got one."

About 1650 undergrads took part in the Georgia Tech Spring 2012 Commencement Ceremony at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

The economy was on many of their minds.

New numbers released Friday show more U.S. employers pulled back on hiring in April, for the second straight month.

"I have some concerns, but I'm sure I'll be okay," onegrad told 11Alive'sJennifer Leslie.

In fact, the graduating classheard some encouraging news about the Georgia economy from their commencement speaker, Gov. Nathan Deal (R-Georgia).

"We think we're beginning to see the right signs," Gov. Deal said."Our employment rate continues to drop, and that's great news. But we still live in some very difficult times. They're not back to where they were five or six years ago."

And yet, they're better off than last year's graduating class.

Plus, most economists predict steady job growth nationwide in the coming months.

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