Majority of Employers Planning to Hire Recent College Graduates This Year

 

As college seniors prepare for graduation, many may wonder what their chances are of landing a job. According to a new survey by CareerBuilder, the odds of getting hired are in their favor. Seventy-four percent of employers say they plan on hiring recent college graduates this year, up almost 10 percentage points from last year. Not only do they have a better chance of finding a job, 50 percent of employers say they will offer them higher pay than last year, with 39 percent planning on offering a starting salary of $50,000 or more.

“Competition for soon-to-be college grads is escalating to a degree we haven’t seen in the last 10 years,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, said in a press release. “In the current environment, where job unemployment continues to decrease and there’s continued competition for sought-after skills, employers are especially attracted to college graduates, and the fresh perspective and skills they can bring to the workforce.”

 

Most In-Demand Majors

Who are employers looking for? Employers reported in the survey that the following majors are the most sought after for their organization:

  • 30% – Business
  • 26% – Engineering
  • 23% – Computer and Information Sciences
  • 16% – Engineering Technologies
  • 13% – Communications Technologies
  • 11% – Math and Statistics
  • 11% – Construction Trades
  • 10% – Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences
  • 9% – Science Technologies
  • 8% – Architecture and Planning
  • 7% – Communication and Journalism
  • 7% – Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • 6% – Social Sciences
  • 6% – Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
  • 5% – Law and Legal Studies
  • 5% – Education

 

Most In-Demand Skills

Employers are looking for recent college graduates with certain skills:

  • 33% – IT
  • 24% – Customer Service
  • 23% – Business Development
  • 20% – Accounting and Finance
  • 18% – Production

 

Starting Salaries for Recent College Graduates

As the economy continues to pick up steam, 50 percent of employers are looking to increase their salary offers to recent college graduates, while 40 percent expect no change in salary offers from last year. 10 percent say they will decrease salary offers.

Employers also reported that they expect to offer the following starting salaries:

  • 23% – Under $30,000
  • 21% – $30,000 to less than $40,000
  • 18% – $40,000 to less than $50,000
  • 39% – $50,000 and higher

Seventy percent say they are willing to negotiate salary offers, and 60 percent report that they will make job offers to candidates before they graduate.

 

Where Employers Say Universities Fall Short

Though they plan to hire candidates who recently graduated, employers have concerns that these candidates aren’t completely prepared for the workforce. When asked where universities fall short, employers said:

  • 44% – Too much emphasis on book learning instead of real-world learning
  • 38% – I need workers with a blend of technical skills and those skills gained from liberal arts
  • 23% – Entry-level roles within my organization are more complex today
  • 17% – Technology is changing too quickly for an academic environment to keep up
  • 17% – Not enough focus on internships
  • 12% – Not enough students are graduating with the degrees my company needs

Employers aren’t convinced that college has given these candidates all the necessary skills they need for the workplace. Employers said they think recent college graduates lack the following skills:

  • People skills – 50%
  • Problem-solving skills – 45%
  • Teamwork – 39%
  • Oral communication – 39%
  • Leadership – 38%
  • Written communication – 35%
  • Creative thinking – 34%
  • Project management – 26%
  • Research and analysis – 17%
  • Computer and technical – 17%
  • Math – 14%

 

Get Help Finding a Job

If you just graduated, start your job search with Morgan Hunter. As one of Kansas City’s oldest and largest staffing firms, we have been connecting job seekers with career opportunities for more than 30 years. Check out our available jobs, or contact us to discuss your job search.