College graduates are entering a hot job market with national data showing that employers are much more conducive to hiring. Many seniors accept job offers a few months before graduation.
Good. Just graduating from college and looking for a job? Really great time. Growing competition for graduates allows for earlier job offers, higher starting salaries and more control while hiring. This was reported by Rich Kramer of Wisconsin Public Radio.
RICH CRAMER, BAYLINE: The last months before graduating from college can be a time of anxious job searches and weekend resume flows. This is not the case for senior cadets at the University of Wisconsin River Falls Nisi Abbasi. In August, the Faculty of Informatics and Economics accepted an offer to become an investment analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York.
NISSY OBASI: I had the chance to truly enjoy my senior year without having it on my back.
KREMER: Her advice to other students who may still be looking: don’t be afraid to turn down an offer because you can have an advantage.
ABASI: I feel that not many people have the skills to negotiate. So when you’re given an offer for 100,000, you just accept it. You can get it up to 120,000 and maybe throw something on top. You can just negotiate.
KREMER: A spring poll conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that businesses plan to increase college enrollment by more than 30% this year. This is the sharpest growth from year to year for at least ten years.
JOSHUA KAN: It’s an even hotter period for recruiters than they thought it would be in the fall.
CREMER: Josh Kahn is the group’s assistant director of research. He says recruiters are well aware of the increasing competition for college graduates. Their average starting salary is projected to be $ 50,000.
KAN: They know they need to make good offers. They know that you need to raise salaries and benefits to make attractive, competitive offers.
KREMER: Taylor Schmitfranz is a senior student at the University of Wisconsin-O-Claire, who took a teaching position in April just a day after her first interview.
TAYLOR SCHMIDTFRANZ: In February and March I was a little crazy because I think what am I doing with my life? Like, where will I live and all that? But it feels really good. I feel ready to finish school.
KREMER: Even for seniors like Hannah Leah of UW Eau Claire (ph), graduating without a job offer isn’t that scary.
HANNA LEE: Now it’s a really big job market, so I’m not very worried, especially because there’s a shortage of teachers, for example, and they pay people to go back to school to become teachers because they really need them.
KREMER: In March, the national unemployment rate among those with a four-year higher education was 2%. The unemployment rate among those with a high school diploma was twice as high. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported a record pay gap last year of $ 22,000 between those with a bachelor’s degree and those without.
Jim Kvapik: With a college degree, your ability to be employed is greatly enhanced.
KREMER: This is Jim Kwapik, district director of the international talent recruitment company Robert Half.
KVAPIK: Many employers go ahead to graduation classes, and they close students long before they graduate, unlike what never was.
KREMER: But the number of students in the college has dropped since 2020. Elise Gould of the Institute for Economic Policy says the pandemic has added new barriers to many potential students from minorities and low-income earners who may not have been able to come up with tuition fees.
ELIZ GOLD: It’s just not available to many people across the country.
KREMER: As the race for college students is on the rise, those watching the trends expect things to cool down, though they’re not sure how or when. At the same time, those nearing graduation seem to be running today’s hiring economy, and they know it.
For NPR News I am Rich Kramer in Eau Claire.
(HANDBITE OF THE AWESOME MATTRESS “AJO”)
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