Why the Outlook for Graduates in 2015/16 is so Promising

2015 is proving to be one of the best year’s ever for graduates seeking employment. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. forecast, this year’s crop of graduates is entering the strongest entry-level job market since the period of expansion that preceded the last recession. Companies are hiring, and the range of jobs open to entry-level professions is on the increase.

The Statistics Tell the Story

The statistics speak loud and clear on why 2015 is such an opportunity for the class of 2015.

The Job Outlook 2015 Spring Update survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, states that new college graduate hiring from the Class of 2015 is expected to increase by 9.6 percent over the Class of 2014.

The Society for Human Resource Management reveals that more than one-third (35 percent) of organizations have already hired college students to begin working before or after their 2015 graduation.  Of the 65 percent that have not yet hired soon-to-be college graduates, 71 percent plan to do so.

What’s driving this rosy lookout are a combination of factors;

Firstly, people are leaving the workforce at a rapid rate. Approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring each day. Couple this with knowing that 2.7 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs each month, and the need for companies to replenish their talent pool becomes apparent.

Secondly, companies are more optimistic about their growth prospects as the economy seems to be on the uptick.

Thirdly, companies appear be applying a more strategic lens to hiring. The newer generation entering the workforce happen to be the lucky recipients of this trend.

The Opportunity for Graduates

Graduates with engineering, business, computer and information sciences top the list of being in the most demand and are likely to find the job market buoyant.

While there is some debate on whether pay will increase depending on which report you read, the good news is that few companies is citing pay decreases. Graduates can it seems look forward to a compensation package, which places them in a good position going forward.

What can the Class of 2016 learn from the 2015 Trends

For Class of 2016 the outlook on the jobs front appears to be as good as it is in 2015. The Job Outlook Survey indicates positive hiring projections for next year’s crop of graduates, with more than two-thirds of employers saying they expect to increase or maintain current hiring levels for the Class of 2016.

Ensuring that graduates capitalize on the opportunities that come their way, means not sitting back on their laurels, hoping that the job offers will come flooding in. Far from it, proactivity and shoring up their skills and profile will be critical if they want to be top of the recruiting list.

Some useful advice for the class of 2016 includes the following;

Engage with companies that you might like to work for early, many companies are making offers and courting students well before they graduate, so don’t wait to get acquainted with the business of your choice

Companies are still frustrated with what they believe are the lack of ‘soft skills”. Many feel that universities are failing to equip students with interpersonal, critical thinking and communication skills. Graduates need to make sure they do not fall short in this area. Investing in developing these skills is as important as investing in the academia.

Up to date social profiles matter. Taking out any elements of a social media profile that may be less than appealing to a prospective employer, should not happen at the last minute. Social media profiles should reflect what a prospective employer would want to see.

It is a long time since the job market was this attractive for graduates; it would be a shame not to capitalize on it.

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