New College Grad in Your Family? Good News…

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According to an article in the May 1st Christian Science Monitor, “The lean job market college graduates faced in the first half of the decade is gone, and companies are upping the ante to obtain the best talent.” Some of my executive clients in recent years have been rather appalled at the apparent ROI obtained on the many thousands of dollars they had invested in their sons’ and daughters’ educations. Many were graduating only to find it nearly impossible to find a job using their new degree, and some would end up flipping burgers.

Apparently that situation is now changing. It’s now a buyer’s market for graduates seeking jobs, with hiring growth in many sectors of the economy and employers expecting to hire 13.8% more new graduates overall this year than last. This is particularly true for graduates who have been savvy enough to gain some experience through internships, with engineering and financial services being especially “hot” categories this year.

Starting salaries are on the rise, too.

NACE reports these majors with the highest average starting salary and these fastest growing occupations:

Majors with highest average starting salary:
Chemical engineering: $55,900
Computer engineering: $54,877
Electrical engineering and communications engineering: $52,899
Mechanical engineering: $50,672
Computer science: $50,046

Fastest growing occupations:
Home health aides: $8.81 per hour
Network systems and data communications analysts: $60,000
Medical assistants: $24,610
Physician assistants: $69,410
Computer applications software engineers: $74,980

Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)

Of course, none of this means that grads can afford to be lazy in their job search. Make sure your new grad leverages all of the online and traditional job search methods, with particular attention to networking. As Pat Garrott, Associate Director of Purdue University’s career center says, “In order to actually get the job, you have to use your network.”