Job opportunities in Minnesota abound for college graduates

by Liz Bogut

College graduates will have better chances of finding jobs this year, according to an annual survey of employers released Friday.
Michigan State University researchers found the number of available jobs will increase by about 10 to 15 percent this year.
Among the 320 employers surveyed, more than half said they would hire more graduates with bachelor’s degrees than last year.
“There will be more job opportunities for students in the future,” said Philip Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State, “especially for students that have the academic credentials employers are looking for.”
The survey results showed manufacturing, financial services and construction are among the most promising professions. Agriculture opportunities are declining across the nation.
Gardner said survey findings pointed to an especially healthy job market in Minnesota.
“College degrees are definitely going to pay off for students,” Gardner said. “There is really a job shortage in Minnesota.”
Some factors contributing to the stronger job market might be the strong national economy, the shortage of qualified workers and technological advancements.
Matt Brakke, a Carlson School of Management senior, said he was optimistic about the increase in jobs available for graduates.
“It will give graduating students more choices in a competitive job market,” Brakke said.
In addition to an expanding job market, Gardner said most starting salaries would increase by 3 to 5 percent.
Most participating employers said they wanted to hire candidates with computer experience.
Employers also said they favored graduates with internship and job experiences related to their career goals.
Although the number of jobs will increase, Gardner said the competition for employment might also rise.
“With the larger job market, students need to start looking for jobs earlier,” Gardner said. “Employers will begin recruiting students earlier in the year.”
Students should prepare action plans when attacking the job market, Gardner advised. She said employers are picky and know exactly what they are looking for.

Liz Bogut welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3225.