Two-thirds of America’s employers projected hiring from 2016’s college graduate pool, up two percent from last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A survey by CareerBuilder revealed this was the highest rate in graduate employment in 10 years.
The survey suggests that out of 2,186 hiring managers and human resource professionals last February to March, 37 percent of them wanted to offer college graduates higher pay than the previous year. This number exceeds the 11 percent who wanted to decrease the amount in starting salaries.
CareerBuilder Chief Human Resources Officer Rosemary Haefner said this jump in pay for college graduates is a result of an improving economy and more retirements that create more room for advancement and opportunities.
Fifty-two percent of the study’s employer’s said they would make offers to students prior to graduation while the reset said they would negotiate a salary during a job offer.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2016 Spring Update report predicted a positive hiring activity for 2016 graduates.
CareerBuilder estimates that 27 percent of jobs in information technology and 26 percent of jobs in customer service are the most popular types of positions employers are offering to new college graduates. Finance and accounting and business development are at 19 percent, and sales is at 17 percent.
Business majors remain in the top percent in the job market due to their being the most in-demand graduates by employers. According to NACE’s 2016 Job Outlook Study last year, employers intended to increase spring hiring by 11 percent.
“A lot of small businesses are growing and hiring young people,” said Marketing Specialist at Career Services Tonya McGee. “Generation to generation, it changes. During the 80s, campus involvement was a huge focus for parents, who said, ‘Look, we’re paying for you to go to school, so go get involved on campus and have this amazing experience.’ Then, 20 to 30 years later, it’s, ‘I like your involvement. That looks great on your resume, but have you ever stepped foot in an office before?’”
McGee said qualities like business etiquette are what employers want to see in potential employees.
“There is a big emphasis right now here in the past five to 10 years and will be from now on you having some field experience before you walk in the door,” she said.
President and founder of College Recruiter Steven Rothberg said very few people who go to a four-year college are able to afford to take a customer service position upon graduation. He said after sales jobs, employers mainly look to fill IT and computer science jobs and entry-level management positions.
According to CareerBuilder, the most in-demand college majors are business (35 percent), computer and information sciences (23 percent), engineering (18 percent), math and statistics (15 percent) and health professions and related clinical sciences (14 percent).
USM alumnus Martez Williams graduated in 2014 with a degree in information technology and currently works for the Mississippi Department of Corrections as a System Administrator, which required a degree.
“Most jobs require experience and certifications such as Microsoft and Comptia,” Williams said. “The school does provide internships, but no certification preparation. I wish the Department of Science and Technology would issue certification vouchers for student to take the test so in the future the students will have a better opportunity getting the job of his or her dreams.”
Williams said he highly enjoys his job and plants to move to Texas to become a system engineer.
USM photojournalism alumnus Courtland Wells graduated in May 2016 and works for the Vicksburg Post.
“I got the job post graduation, and USM helped a lot,” Wells said. “There’s a Facebook group for Southern Miss photojournalist majors, and they post job listings for people looking for jobs. I majored in photo, so my job directly relates to what I studied. I love my job and staying in this field is my goal.”
Career Services at Southern Miss is dedicated to helping students achieve their goal careers. Services include career counseling, résumé building, help with the cover letters, practice interviews and guiding students and alumni to finding entry-level jobs.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is that students come in and prepare themselves for the job search, whether its part time job, internship or full time job,” McGee said. “Interview is one of those things you’ve got to have practice. The average employer spends about 10 seconds looking over a resume before they flip to the next one, so you’ve got to have it looking great, have what they want right there easy to read in a nice format.
“Taking an hour to come in and get it done right the first time can help you get the job you want. We’ll help you prepare for the job search from helping with resume, cover letter, interview – all you have to do is walk in our door.”