College grads getting more job offers, survey says

More than 60 percent of employers plan to hire more college grads than last year.

Elena Rozwadowski

For marketing senior Shannon Peloquin, finding the right job was easy.

“I’ve been set to go and have had a lot of options since fall,” Peloquin said.

She is not alone.

According to a report released Tuesday by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more than 60 percent of employers plan to hire more college grads this year.

“We’re seeing a greater range of opportunities opening up for new college graduates,” said Marilyn Mackes, the association’s executive director. “Employers in all sectors are projecting an increase in hiring.”

Nationally, college graduate job placement is expected to increase by 11.1 percent from last year, according to the report. In the Midwest alone, employers said they plan to hire 9.8 percent more college graduates than they did last year.

While the University doesn’t know exactly how many of its graduates enter the workforce each year, it knows employers tend to like University graduates, said Jerry Rinehart, vice provost for Student Affairs.

“Our students are known for their strong work ethic because we have more students who work through college than at other institutions,” Rinehart said.

“Employers like our students because they know what work is and how to get their hands dirty,” he said.

Many individual colleges within the University, especially those with professional training programs, keep close count of post-graduation job placement, Rinehart said.

For example, more than 90 percent of Carlson School of Management graduates find jobs right out of college, according to the Carlson School’s Human Resources and Industrial Relations.

“We work hard to prepare our students to compete in a very competitive job market,” said Clare Foley, director of the Carlson School Graduate Business Career Center.

Morgan Kinross-Wright, director of the Carlson School’s Undergraduate Career Center, said the centers are a good resource for undergraduates and graduates in the school because they not only prepare students for interviews, but also connect them with different companies all over the nation.

“We’re really taking them where they want to go for jobs,” she said. “The market is good right now.”

Even with a strong market, college career centers are important resources for students who want to find the best jobs in a reasonable amount of time, said Paul Timmins, the lead career services coordinator in the College of Liberal Arts’ Career and Community Learning Center.

“Students are finding a lot of jobs,” he said, “but job searches are more likely to be successful if they start sooner and use a variety of search methods.”

Timmins said college career centers are able to point students to different resources.

“The students who visit career offices are more likely to find a career that fits them sooner,” he said.

Peloquin said she was glad to have those resources when she began looking for a job.

“The great thing was I felt like I had a lot of options in what I wanted to do,” she said. “I didn’t have to compromise on what was interesting to me.”