Strong job outlook for college graduates

Good news for college students about to graduate: businesses plan to offer more jobs with bigger salaries to applicants with a four-year degree.

The national survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder surveyed 2,186 hiring managers and human resource professionals. It shows the hiring outlook is the highest it’s been in nearly a decade.

Sixty-seven percent of employers said they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, up from 65 percent. Thirty-seven percent plan to offer higher pay.

Getting into the job market right after college is tough but the improving economy means more opportunity for new graduates.

“It makes me feel like when I graduate I’m going to be set up for a successful future,” said Ariana Nikmanesh, a college student at Metro State University Denver.

Businesses plan to boost hiring and pay over last year but in Colorado getting the job can be just as difficult as in years past.

“It’s still competitive. Even though there are more opportunities it’s still competitive because we have a lot of graduates in the state of Colorado and we have a lot of experienced folks who want to live in the state of Colorado that they often compete with for those jobs,” said Bridgette Coble, director of career services at MSU Denver.

Coble said although competitive, the job market is on an upswing. This year, MSU Denver had five job fairs with waiting lists for the employers looking to recruit students.

“I think it still depends on what field it is,” said returning student Jason Hodge. “You’ve got to get a degree that really means something.”

The businesses in the poll listed their top three majors for new employees. Leading the list are business, computer and information sciences, and engineering degrees.

Coble reminds students just because you’re in the top three majors that employers want, doesn’t automatically mean success.

“It’s more than just having the college degree. Students to need to have experience along the way to help them compete for those jobs,” she said.

In order to be competitive, graduates need internships, volunteer work and part-time jobs that show employers you’ll be a well-rounded employee ready for the real world.

“It makes me more excited to finish up my years in college. It helps me remember that what I’m doing in college is definitely going to impact my future,” said college freshman Brandon Murphy.

Most In-Demand College Majors According To Polled Employers:

Business – 35 percent
Computer and Information Sciences – 23 percent
Engineering – 18 percent
Math and Statistics – 15 percent
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences – 14 percent
Communications Technologies – 11 percent
Engineering Technologies – 11 percent
Communication and Journalism – 8 percent
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities – 7 percent
Science Technologies – 7 percent
Social Sciences – 6 percent
Biological and Biomedical Sciences – 6 percent
Architecture and Planning – 6 percent
Education – 5 percent

Information technology (27 percent) and customer service jobs (26 percent) top the list of position types for which employers hiring recent college grads are recruiting. Opportunities also abound in finance/accounting (19 percent), business development (19 percent) and sales (17 percent).

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