10 Things New College Grads Need To Know About Jobs

My daughter, who is a Spanish major, will be graduating from college in the spring and like many college seniors, she is stressing about finding a job.

While the job market is still ailing, a new national survey of 4,600 employers suggests that jobs will be more plentiful for the graduating class of 2011. According to an annual survey conducted by Michigan State University, companies plan to boost their hiring of new college graduates with bachelor’s degrees by 10 percent.

Here are 10 things to know about the job market for new college grads:

1. Employers will increase hiring most significantly among grads with business- and technology-oriented majors. E-commerce and entrepreneurism look particularly hot this year and so does public relations.

2. Here’s good news for liberal arts majors: The largest percentage of employers (36 percent) say they will hire students regardless of major. What’s more, companies plan to boost hiring of liberal arts majors by 21 percent.

Fifteen percent of employers are looking for students with a “very broad liberal education.”

3. Hiring will be most vigorous in manufacturing, professional services, large commercial banking and the federal government.

4. Hiring is expected to drop for students who have majored in health sciences and social sciences.

5. Large corporations, with at least 4,000 employees, expect to hire an average of 114 college grads with bachelor’s degrees per company next year.

6. Prospects are worse for mid-size companies, which employ anywhere from 500 to 3,999. They will continue to shed jobs.

7. The hot spots for entry-level jobs for college grads are going to be in the Great Lakes region, where hiring is expected to jump 13 percent, and in the Mid-Atlantic region, which should experience a 10 percent boost in jobs.

8. Large corporations now hire about 50 percent to 75 percent of new employees from their own intern pools.

9. Compared with graduates from five years ago, employers say that today’s young job candidates produce better résumés, but they don’t conduct themselves as professionally. Employers also worry that students now cannot articulate their skills as well and lack realistic career expectations.

10. Despite a better job environment for college graduates, it’s sadly nowhere close to being ideal.

“This step is the first out of a deep hole,” Phil Gardner, director of the institute, wrote in Michigan State’s latest report, Recruiting Trends 2010-2011. “The recovery in the college market does not run deep at this time.”

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller and a workbook, Shrinking the Cost of College: 152 Ways to Cut the Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree. Follow her on Twitter.

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