Better Outlook for June Grads

The job market looks a little brighter for those receiving sheepskins this spring. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers expect to hire 5.3 percent more new college graduates in 2009-10 than they did the previous year. Though many will receive lower starting salaries, information technology graduates are garnering higher offers. Says NACE:

As a group, graduates earning computer-related degrees saw their average salary offer soar in comparison to the other disciplines: Their average offer rose 5.8 percent to $58,746. And, the average offer to computer science majors increased by 4.7 percent, bringing it to $60,426. Computer engineering grads, however, saw their average offer move up just a scant 0.2 percent to $61,121.

Other key stats from NACE include:

  • Nearly one-quarter (24.4 percent) of 2010 graduates who applied for a job actually have one waiting for them after graduation.
  • Companies located in the Northeast have the most robust hiring plans.
  • Accounting services, engineering services, and retail/wholesale trade employers top the list.
  • Business administration/management grads saw their average offer fall 8 percent to $42,094 of employers extending offers to 2009-10 bachelor’s degree graduates.
  • Marketing graduates’ average salary offer also fell, but not as far, to $42,710, down 2.1 percent from last year.

More grads were able to secure jobs because they jumped at opportunities. This year, 39 percent of seniors taking part in a NACE study reported they had received job offers, and 59 percent of those students took the job. Last year, 40 percent of responding seniors were offered jobs, but only 45 percent accepted them. Being flexible and frugal is a valuable survival strategy for today’s grads.

This year’s crowd should take advantage of the improving conditions by applying for full-time opportunities, but be willing to accept part-time gigs, volunteer assignments or internships to gain experience and pay a few bills. Once you acquire some experience and the job market improves, then you can afford to be choosier.

Leslie Stevens-Huffman