Job Market Looking Up for College Grads

Recent college grads will be entering an optimistic job market. It is projected that hiring will be up 15 percent from last year among all degree levels. This is good news, in comparison to the market experienced in 2009 through 2013 with the Great Recession.

Unemployment rates were some of the lowest for civil engineering and nursing, at 2.8 and 2 percent respectively. However, mass media, anthropology and geography majors faced rates of 8 percent, well above the national standard. Liberal arts majors will fare better with jobless rates of 5.8 percent. Job specific majors have a better time landing a position over more general majors. Accounting, finance or marketing majors are more likely to obtain major-specific employment over their general business major counterparts.

Although the job market is slated to be even more promising in 2016 than it was in 2015, many recent grads, age 22 to 27 with a bachelor’s degree or higher, are working in positions that do not require a degree. Approximately 44 percent of college graduates are underemployed, up from 38 percent in 2000. Economists emphasize that this tends to occur in both favorable and poor economic times. Nearly one third of grads hold jobs that do not necessitate a degree. Most of these positions have a tendency to be administrative or office work. For the segment of graduates in lower paying positions, they do often transition into higher skilled occupations over time.

Additionally, paychecks are increasing, as well. The median wage for an individual with a high school diploma was $25,000 in 2015. Salaries for college graduates obtaining a bachelor’s degree rose from $40,000 in 2014 to $43,000 in 2015.

Across campuses nationwide, job fairs are booming and employers are eager to gain access to this year’s fresh crop of graduates. It’s a positive direction and gives even more credibility to the need for a college degree — and the demand for employees that have one.



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