Employment statistics shout optimism for graduates

The prospects of employment for graduating university students are promising, according to reports on hiring statistics that were released by the College Employment Research Institute (CERI) at Michigan State University.

Graduates with bachelor’s degrees can expect hiring to increase by 16 percent in 2015, according to the CERI study of nearly 5,700 employers. Employers responded from every state and New Jersey was in the top 12 states with the most employer feedback. Donna Jackson-Robertson, associate director of the Career Center, said Seton Hall maintains an 86 percent employment rate six months after graduation. This number only includes professional, or career-track, positions.

This statistic for Seton Hall’s 2014 graduating class compares to a national 67 percent employment rate six months after graduation. More than half of the employers surveyed identified themselves as outside recruiters and company HR managers looking for full-time employees, while 19 percent said they were seeking experienced talent, and 9 percent were hiring for short-term assignments of less than six months.

Jackson-Robertson said the Career Center sees at least some type of increase of employers seeking Seton Hall graduates every year, though the industries vary. The Career Center maintains a relationship with a diverse group of businesses, organizations, government and nonprofits across the country, but especially those in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area because a lot of alumni work in that area.

Six sectors report double-digit growth for hiring people with bachelor degrees. In ascending order they are nonprofits with a 16 percent change from 2014; manufacturing; government; professional, business and scientific services; finance and insurance; and information services with a 51 percent change from 2014. On the other hand, educational services and utilities report a decline in hiring. Anna Ivashko, a senior chemistry major, said she was not surprised by these statistics.

“I think hiring for bachelor degree graduates will keep increasing for 2015 and even 2016 since when I looked for internships two years ago and last year, many companies did not offer internships or entry level positions,” she said.

This year 97 percent of employers will hire at least one new college graduate, according to the study’s projection based on 2014 data. Some factors cited include the increasing amount of employees retiring, industry growth and the amount of employees that employers want to retain for multiple years or longer.

Jackson-Robertson explained, “The job market is opening up as the economy is improving. You’re also starting to hear more about the “retirement cliff” where many baby boomers are looking to retire in the next couple of years. Then people are promoted from within the organization which opens up entry-level opportunities. Progressive companies are realizing they need to bring in new talent to fill in the gaps.”

Not only will there be more job availability, but about 37 percent of employers in sectors like wholesale, healthcare and social services, government, education and utilities will also see a three to five percent increase from 2014 in starting salaries.

Eighteen percent of employers will increase salaries by more than 10 percent within sectors such as manufacturing, finance and insurance services, and professional, business and scientific services. Additionally, about 62 percent of employers will keep starting salaries at the same level as last year. The average starting salary projected for 2015 graduates for all majors is approximately $39,000 per year.

Ivashko credits her job search success to LinkedIn, professors and graduate students who gave her tips on which companies were hiring.

“I worked hard and got great references from my professors. I don’t think I would have gotten a single interview if it were not for those references,” she said.

She currently has a job offer but is still in the interviewing process. For seniors graduating next month, all Career Center services are available with no charge for one full year after graduation. The Center is open all summer.

Emily Balan can be reached at emily.balan@student.shu.edu.

Author: Emily Balan

Emily is the news editor for The Setonian and writes for the news section. She also writes for The Diplomatic Envoy where she holds the layout & copy editor position. She will be graduating in spring 2016 from the School of Diplomacy with a BS in diplomacy and international relations and a BA in philosophy, with minors in French and journalism.

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