Why the outlook for graduates in 2015-16 is so promising
2015 is proving to be one of the best years ever for graduates seeking employment. According to the Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. forecast, this year’s crop of graduates is entering the strongest entrylevel job market since the period of expansion that preceded the last recession. Companies are hiring, and the range of jobs open to entry-level professionals is on the increase.
The statistics tell the story
The statistics speak loud and clear on why this year is such a golden opportunity for the class of 2015.
The Job Outlook 2015 Spring Update survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, states that new college graduate hiring from the Class of 2015 is expected to increase by 9.6 percent over the Class of 2014.
The Society for Human Resource Management reveals that more than one-third (35 percent) of organizations hired college students to begin working before or after their 2015 graduation. Of the 65 percent that have not yet hired soon-to-be college graduates, 71 percent plan to do so.
What’s driving this rosy lookout are a combination of factors
First, people are leaving the workforce at a rapid rate. Approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring each day. Couple this with knowing that 2.7 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs each month, and the need for companies to replenish their talent pool becomes apparent.
Second, companies are more optimistic about their growth prospects as the economy seems to be on the uptick.
Third, companies appear be applying a more strategic lens to hiring. The newer generation entering the workforce happen to be the lucky recipients of this trend.
The opportunity for graduates
Graduates with degrees in engineering, business, and computer/information sciences top the list of being in the most demand and are likely to find the job market buoyant.
While there is some debate on whether pay will increase, the good news is that few companies are citing pay decreases. Graduates can, it seems, look forward to a healthy compensation package, which places them in a good position going forward.
What can the Class of 2016 learn from current trends
For the Class of 2016, the outlook on the jobs front appears to be as good as it is has been this past year. The Job Outlook Survey indicates positive hiring projections for next year’s graduates, with more than two-thirds of employers saying they expect to increase or maintain current hiring levels for the Class of 2016.
Graduates do need to realize that to capitalize on these abundant opportunities means not sitting back on their laurels, hoping that the job offers will come flooding in. Far from it; proactivity and shoring up their skills and profile will be critical if they want to be top of the recruiting list.
Some useful advice for the Class of 2016 includes the following:
• Engage early with companies that you might like to work for. Many companies are making offers and courting students well before they graduate, so don’t wait to get acquainted with the business of your choice. • Companies are still frustrated with what they believe are the lack of “soft skills.” Many feel that universities are failing to equip students with interpersonal, critical thinking and communication skills. Graduates need to make sure they do not fall short in this area. Investing in developing these skills is as important as investing in the necessary subjects of your chosen field. • Up-to-date and professional social profiles matter. Deleting elements of a social media profile that may be less than appealing to a prospective employer should not happen at the last minute. Social media profiles should reflect what a prospective employer would want to see.
It is a long time since the job market was this attractive for graduates; it would be a shame not to capitalize on it.