College job market to see slight rebound

Nov 17, 2010

The national job market for college graduates should rebound slightly next year as many large corporations end hiring freezes and small, fast-growth companies continue helping reshape the economy, according to Michigan State University's 2010-11 Recruiting Trends report.

Overall hiring is expected to increase 3 percent, with bachelor's-level and MBA-level hiring both surging 10 percent, said Phil Gardner, director of MSU's Collegiate Employment Research Institute, which conducted the survey of some 4,600 employers.

Geographically, the Great Lakes region, which took the brunt of the recession, will see a robust 13 percent increase in bachelor's-level hiring, which is tops in the nation, Gardner predicts. The region consists of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

But the good news should be taken with a word of caution, Gardner said. An uptick in job growth is simply the first step out of a very deep hole, he said, and hardly represents a return to the heady economic days of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

"The national economy is certainly not returning to its previous high production base," Gardner said. "And even though the economy has shown early signs of sustained recovery, the overall job market has remained relatively anemic."

From an industry perspective, hiring will be driven by a core group of employers in manufacturing, professional services, large commercial banking and the federal government, the annual survey found.

Gardner said smaller banks that didn't receive federal bailout money will continue closing their doors and slashing positions. And unlike the projected growth in federal government hiring, state governments and colleges and universities could see a drastic reduction in hiring, he said.

While mid-size companies (500 to 3,999 employees) will continue shedding positions, Gardner said large companies (at least 4,000 employees) plan to hire 114 bachelor-level employers per company next year.

That's good news for graduates – but only if they are prepared and start working toward a position early in their college careers, said Kelley Bishop, MSU's career services director.

Typically, Bishop said, large corporations now hire about 50 percent to 75 percent of new employees from their own intern pool.

Among the fast-growth companies (nine to 100 employees), hiring is expected to increase 19 percent, the survey said.

"These fast-growth companies in many ways represent the new economy – that bold employer that can adjust quickly, that sees a niche and runs with it," Bishop said. "This is an important group for our students getting jobs."

Other details of the report:

  • Hiring is expected to decline for those with associate, master and professional degrees, with professional-degree hiring seeing the biggest drop at 13 percent. The professional category includes law, medical and veterinary degrees.
  • Ph.D.-level hiring, on the other hand, is expected to increase 5 percent.
  • of engineering majors appears sluggish, with the exception of computer science and information technology students. Demand should be very strong for IT workers.
  • The Northeast, Southeast and Pacific Northwest could see a much weaker expansion of jobs than the Midwest.
  • For the past two years, starting salaries have remained stagnant for . "Remember the words 'signing bonus?'" Gardner said. "Don't expect to hear them again anytime soon."
  • Some 36 percent of all companies said they'd consider any major for a position – an all-time high. "Most employers are out there are looking for the best candidate they can find, regardless of major," Gardner said.

Explore further: Do government technology investments pay off?

Related Stories

Chemistry jobs outlook still dim, but salaries rise

Nov 07, 2005

The job market for chemical scientists remains depressed for the fifth straight year — though better than for the nation as a whole — but employed chemists have enjoyed solid salary increases, according to the Nov. 7 ...

IT Worker Confidence a Mixed Bag

May 04, 2007

Two recruiting companies find different results when they poll IT workers about their confidence in the economy, their jobs and finances.

Entry-Level Workers Head into a Mixed Market

Apr 03, 2007

A new report sheds light on a tight entry-level market with little hope for improved wages for recent college graduates, almost half of whom expect to move back in with their parents to make ends meet.

Tech CEOs Predict Swelled Use of Offshore Talent

May 02, 2007

Admitting that finding, hiring and retaining qualified employees is their biggest operational challenge, nearly half of technology CEOs said that they are tapping overseas market for talent, a trend they expect to only increase ...

Overcoming the fear of hiring employees

Jun 15, 2007

The Civil Rights Act of 1991 (CRA-91) held great promise for protecting workers from discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, like many good ideas, CRA-91 had an unintended consequence for employers: ...

Recommended for you

Do government technology investments pay off?

16 hours ago

Studies confirm that IT investments in companies improve productivity and efficiency. University of Michigan professor M.S. Krishnan wondered if the same was true for government.

Study finds assisted housing works, but it could be improved

17 hours ago

Two researchers from the University of Kansas Department of Urban Planning have just completed a study on the locations of assisted housing units and assisted households across the nation. It examines one of the key issues ...

Economist probes the high cost of health care

Mar 27, 2015

When Zack Cooper arrived at Yale as assistant professor of public health and economics, he gained access to a first-of-its-kind dataset. Working with the non-profit Health Care Cost Institute, Cooper and ...

Cash remains king in Chile but its days could be numbered

Mar 26, 2015

For more than a year now, Chileans have endured a crisis of cash access. Despite global moves toward new forms of payment such as contactless and mobile transfers, the crisis in Chile highlights the continuing ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.