Good news for 2013’s college grads: They’re entering a stronger job market than they would have right after the Great Recession began.
This year’s hiring is holding steady from 2012: More than half (53 percent) of U.S. employers plan to hire recent college graduates in 2013, on par with 2012’s 54 percent and up significantly from 46 percent in 2011 and 44 percent in 2010.
Highly skilled = in high demand
The recent college grads who enter high-skill fields may have an edge over their peers who don’t, according to a new study from CareerBuilder.com and CareerRookie.com of more than 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals. Employers in industries that generally demand more high-skill workers are also more likely to recruit recent college graduates than those employers who don’t.
Who’s hiring the most recent college grads?
- IT employers rank ahead of all other industries, with 65 percent of hiring managers and HR professionals planning to hire recent graduates.
- Sixty-three percent of financial services employers and 56 percent of health care employers are following suit.
- Employers in IT and financial services are the most likely to recruit workers for hard-to-fill jobs (37 percent, each) prior to graduation.
As Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, says about the outlook for college grads:
“The market remains highly competitive. Those graduating with niche or technical skill sets will be in a better position to find more opportunities in higher-paying jobs.”
Starting salaries for college graduates
Of employers who plan to hire recent college grads, 27 percent say they will offer higher starting salaries than they did in 2012, with nearly half declaring a starting salary range between $30,000 and $49,999. Many employers also plan to extend offers much lower or higher than the $30,000 to $49,999 range:
- Less than $30,000 — 25 percent
- $30,000 to less than $40,000 — 29 percent
- $40,000 to less than $50,000 — 20 percent
- $50,000 and higher — 25 percent
Top job areas for college graduates
Recruiters will be primarily looking for recent college graduates to fill two types of jobs:
- Front-line customer and client-facing roles like customer service and sales.
- Roles that require specific technical knowledge or hard skills, like IT, finance and health care.
The following industries have the largest percentages of employers recruiting for jobs:
- IT — 26 percent
- Customer service — 19 percent
- Finance/accounting — 16 percent
- Sales — 16 percent
- Business development — 15 percent
- Health care — 12 percent
Do you care about college or university names?
Though many employers aren’t swayed by a prestigious name or the nostalgia of their alma mater, 24 percent of hiring managers said they are more likely to hire a recent graduate who went to a more prestigious school. Similarly, one fifth of employers said they are more likely to hire someone who is a fellow alumna or alumnus. Are you one of them?
Get the full CareerBuilder and CareerRookie college hiring forecast here.