Advertisement
college

2019 College Graduates Have a Healthy Job Market

They can expect multiple offers as boomers retire and the economy chugs along.

Edwin Koc is research director at the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which connects colleges and universities with recruiting professionals.

With the unemployment rate at historic lows, how difficult will it be for new graduates to find a job? This year’s graduates will have an easier time finding work than at any time in the past decade. We expect U.S. employers to increase hiring of new college graduates by 11% compared with last year. Many companies are trying to fill the talent pipeline as baby boomers retire. Accounting, engineering, management consulting and advertising, as well as motor vehicle manufacturing and high-tech electronics manufacturing, will lead the way. But the labor market is strong across the board, and graduates may receive multiple job offers.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Will graduates have more bargaining power when it comes to pay? The strength of the economy hasn’t translated to salary growth yet. Usually, you would see higher salaries as employers compete to attract and retain the best talent. But on average, pay is increasing at about 2% a year. Workers with advanced degrees, as well as engineers, computer scientists and some people working in fields that rely heavily on foreign workers who need a visa, will have more room to negotiate salary and benefits than other workers.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Which skills are most sought after across industries? Employers are usually satisfied with young workers’ technical skills. But they complain about the soft skills—communication, critical thinking and project management—that new graduates bring to the workplace. Job seekers who emphasize their written and oral communication skills have an advantage. Some companies are even dropping the idea of hiring by academic major. Rather, they’re hiring workers with strong soft skills and plan to teach them role-specific skills on the job.

How is the hiring process changing? New grads won’t have as many opportunities to meet recruiters in person and will need to find job openings directly on company websites, LinkedIn and other online sources. Fewer companies are recruiting on campus, and those that visit campus do most of their work in the fall to lock in the best candidates as early as possible. Students need to get serious about their job search early in their senior year instead of waiting until closer to graduation.

Advertisement

Most Popular

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)
tax deadline

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)

Between due dates for IRA or HSA contributions, paying estimated taxes and other deadlines, there's more to do by July 15 than just filing your federa…
July 10, 2020
65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On
stocks

65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

These 65 Dividend Aristocrats are an elite group of dividend stocks that have reliably increased their annual payouts every year for at least a quarte…
July 8, 2020
Know Why Your Credit Score Changes: 9 Money Moves to Consider
credit & debt

Know Why Your Credit Score Changes: 9 Money Moves to Consider

Your credit score is a key indicator of your financial well-being and of the risk you pose to lenders. How good is yours?
July 10, 2020

Recommended

Nursing in the Time of COVID-19
Financial Planning

Nursing in the Time of COVID-19

This health care professional warns that the pandemic will worsen the nursing shortage.
July 2, 2020
Chiropractor Trying to Get Business the Wrong Way – Illegally
careers

Chiropractor Trying to Get Business the Wrong Way – Illegally

A new chiropractor’s fledgling business plan to attract patients may sound reasonable at first look, but it’s actually against the law, and the same p…
June 30, 2020
7 Ways the Pandemic Will Change College Forever
college

7 Ways the Pandemic Will Change College Forever

Colleges and universities face steep budget cuts, enrollment challenges and new types of competition as a result of COVID-19. We cover the changes you…
June 19, 2020
Post-COVID-19, Seniors Must Chart a New Path in the Workplace
retirement

Post-COVID-19, Seniors Must Chart a New Path in the Workplace

Those most vulnerable to the pandemic will face challenges in the return to work, even as the recession means they may need their paychecks more than …
June 11, 2020