Good or bad, you can always get someone to agree with your opinion on the economy if you talk to enough people. Nevertheless, I was heartened to come across some information from the National Association of Colleges and Employers concerning the job outlook for 2013 college graduates. Marking the fourth consecutive year of growth, this year employers plan to hire 13% more new graduates than last year. Additionally, hiring companies plan to increase starting salaries by over 5%. Susannah Snider identifies some of the most affected labor-pool sectors (“More Jobs for 2013 Grads” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, June 2013, pp. 11–12):
“This year’s most sought-after majors are the usual winners. At the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels, those are business, engineering and computer science. . . . There’s good news for liberal arts graduates too. Hiring is up in sales-related fields, such as public relations, communications and marketing.” (p. 11)
That sheepskin has always been important, but perhaps it is becoming even more important during these difficult days. As we also might expect, the edge will often go to the social-media savvy job seeker. Although recruiters still use the traditional job fair and college placement offices to locate talent, increasing numbers of companies are becoming more active in social media. Given the trends, this is no surprise. If an employer has two equally qualified candidates, but one is social-media savvy and one is not, who do you think is going to receive the offer? Snider affirms this trend:
“Many employers say they plan to rely more on social media this year. That next hot job tip might pop up in your Twitter feed or on LinkedIn.” (p. 12)
Overall, based on the statistics and the trends, I believe job prospects are improving. That is some good news for which we can all be thankful.