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Who’s hiring? New grads see brighter job market in 2015

  • April 30, 2015
More jobs are offered this spring for new grads, but students still in school should prepare for the job hunt before they graduate, says Joy Jones with UAB Career and Professional Development.

job opportunityEmployers plan to hire nearly 10 percent more new graduates from the class of 2015 than they did from 2014, and high-demand degrees include engineering, computer science, business and accounting.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported the good news for new grads, says Joy Jones, M.Ed., assistant director of Career and Professional Development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The average number of job postings has increased nearly 50 percent over this time last year, while employers report the average number of applications for each posting has fallen slightly. Employers are searching for candidates with bachelor’s degrees, and more than half of employers say they are hiring for full-time and internship positions this spring, according to NACE.

Degrees in highest demand per the NACE Job Outlook 2015 are:

  • Business: finance, accounting, business administration and management, marketing
  • Engineering: mechanical, electrical, computer and chemical engineering
  • Computer science, information sciences and systems
  • Mathematics/statistics, environmental science, chemistry
  • Communications, public relations
  • Humanities: English language and literature, liberal arts/general studies and history
  • Social sciences: economics, psychology

Occupations and industries related to health care are projected to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022, according to a long-term projection from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total employment in the health care field is projected to increase 10.8 percent, or 15.6 million.

Starting salaries can depend on many things, including type, size and location of the organization and experience of the job candidate, Jones says. But projected starting salaries for class of 2015 graduates range from $63,000 for an engineering graduate to $51,000 for a health care graduate and $45,000 for a humanities graduate, according to the NACE 2015 Salary Survey.

For students still in school, Jones’ advice is to plan ahead. For a new college graduate, on average it can take more than a month from the time a job is posted until the interview, 23 days from an interview to an offer, and nearly two weeks from the time an offer is made until it is accepted.

“From my 19 years of working with university students, today’s valuable tip is to get started early in your job search,” Jones said. “The hiring process differs from that of several years ago. Even in a promising job market, many new graduates overlook the fact that it can take three or more months to acquire their first professional job. If you are a senior, start early tapping into your network, and be diligent following up on job leads.”