CHICAGO, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The college graduating class of 2012 is heading into a better job market than alumni of the previous three years, according to a new study from CareerBuilder and CareerRookie.com. More than half of employers (54 percent) reported they plan to hire recent college graduates in 2012, up from 46 percent in 2011, 44 percent in 2010 and 43 percent in 2009. The national survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive© from February 9 to March 2, 2012, included more than 2,000 hiring managers across industries and company sizes.
"This is the first time since the recession that we're seeing a majority of employers planning to add recent college graduates to their employee roster," said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. "Companies across industries are placing a strong emphasis on recruiting fresh talent for technology-related roles and positions designed to drive revenue - and they're willing to pay more for high-skill, educated labor."
How much will college grads likely earn?
Of those who plan to hire recent college graduates, 29 percent expect to offer higher starting salaries than they did in 2011. While employers were most likely to report that they would pay between $30,000 and $40,000, a significant portion will extend offers exceeding $50,000.
- Less than $30,000 – 20 percent
- $30,000 to less than $40,000 – 30 percent
- $40,000 to less than $50,000 – 21 percent
- $50,000 and higher – 28 percent
Which college majors are most in demand?
Business tops the list with technical majors following closely behind.
- Business – 39 percent
- Computer and Information Sciences – 24 percent
- Engineering – 23 percent
- Math and Statistics – 13 percent
- Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences – 13 percent
- Communications Technologies – 12 percent
- Liberal Arts and Sciences – 9 percent
What jobs are employers targeting college grads to fill?
Companies continue to recruit recent college graduates for roles that drive innovation, sales and new market opportunities.
- Information Technology – 25 percent
- Customer Service – 23 percent
- Sales – 21 percent
- Finance/Accounting – 18 percent
- Marketing – 17 percent
- Business Development – 17 percent
Job Hunting Tips for Recent College Grads from CareerRookie.com
- You may have more experience than you realize – While recent college grads are likely to highlight internships and part-time jobs on their resumes, they may not know that many employers will consider volunteer work (53 percent), class work (33 percent), managing activities for sororities or fraternities (26 percent) and sports (20 percent) as relevant experience. One-in-ten employers (12 percent) would also consider social media (personal or school-related blogs, social networking pages) to qualify as relevant experience.
- Expand your network of contacts online and offline – The number one way employers recruit recent college grads is through employee referrals (49 percent) followed by postings on online job sites (42 percent).
- Be respectful of the interviewer's time – Fourteen percent of employers reported a recent college grad checked or answered his/her cell phone during a job interview while 15 percent said a recent college grad showed up to the interview in jeans or shorts. It's important to show enthusiasm for the job, dress professionally and leave the cell phone at home.
- Clean up digital dirt – Fifteen percent of employers reported they didn't hire a recent college grad because of something they found on social media. Remove any photos, content and links that can work against you in an employer's eyes.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,303 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between February 9 and March 2, 2012 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,303, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.04 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 45 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.