Job outlook optimistic for seniors

Students seeking full-time jobs after graduation will face a more optimistic job market this year, as the National Association of Colleges and Employers predicts a nearly 20 percent rise in hiring of graduates.

The association’s spring job outlook survey anticipates employers will hire 19.3 percent more graduates this year than in 2010, the first time employers have reported a double-digit increase in spring hiring projections since 2007.

An increase in hiring is also expected to bring an increase in starting salary offers. The average salary offer to all Class of 2011 graduates now stands at $50,462, according to results of a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, 5.9 percent more than the average for 2010 graduates.

The Career Center also sends out an employment survey to graduating seniors six months after graduation each year.

Jeff Dagley, communications coordinator for the Career Center, said statistics for the Class of 2010 are not yet available.

“We are in the process of working with the Office of Academic Planning and Assessment to get the final analysis of stats from the Class of 2010, and that information should be available in the next few weeks,” Dagley said.

The 2011 survey will be sent out in November of this year, and the results will be available in the spring of 2012.

While many students are still searching for work, senior Travis Holler has already secured a job for this summer as a field representative for Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign in Iowa.

Holler said the report’s hiring predictions seem “very unrealistic.”

“I feel like the vast majority of people graduating are unemployed or going on to graduate programs,” he said.

Senior Hannah Orenstein, who has not yet lined up a job for post-graduation, said she and her friends expected their previous internships to carry more weight as they searched for full-time work.

“They say internships get your feet in the door. We have our feet in so many doors and it seems like internships don’t matter anymore,” Orenstein said.

Eric Lane, who will work as an analyst for JetBlue Airways in New York City after he graduates, said he found the job on his own through the company’s website.

Despite the uptick in hiring trends, Lane said the economy is so segmented, certain degrees may be more valued than others.

“There may be some degrees which have a general set of skills which are getting passed over by employers,” Lane said.

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