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College Grads: Hiring to Increase Nearly 9 Percent

The Class of 2014 may not have to don fast food uniforms after the caps and gowns come off. Employers that hire new grads are feeling optimistic about the market and plan to hire 8.6 percent more college graduates this year as compared to last. Starting salaries for this year's class are also up by 1.2 percent, all this according to a recent survey released by The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).


(Photo Credit: Dan Zen/Flickr)

The Job Outlook 2014 survey of 161 employers forecasts hiring intentions based on the respondents’ hiring plans and other employment-related issues. Respondents indicated that factors for the increase include: larger business needs, company growth, a desire to build talent pipelines by hiring more entry-level positions, and the anticipated retirements of an aging workforce.

In the fall, the increase was expected to be 7.8 percent, and a year ago employers expected to increase their hiring by only 2.1 percent. Overall, 48.4 percent of respondents say they are increasing their college hiring and less than 30 percent plan to cut back.

(Image Credit: National Association of Colleges and Employers)

However, college graduates may want to be cautious in their optimism. According to a March 2014 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 260,000 workers with bachelor’s degrees or higher and 200,000 workers with an associate degree working at or below minimum wage.

College graduates’ job prospects may depend on what they studied in college. The NACE survey indicated that most employers are looking for grads with bachelor’s degrees in the areas of accounting, business, engineering, computer/information science, sciences, and communications.

(Image Credit: National Association of Colleges and Employers)

Employers also rated desired skills of new recruits with the highest emphasis on teamwork, decision making, problem solving, planning, organizing, prioritizing, and verbal communication.

Newly graduated job seekers are encouraged to research companies and salaries in the field they’re hoping to enter.

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Have you witnessed a better job market this year? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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