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Survey finds college grads face more optimistic job market

May 2, 2012

More than half of surveyed employers plan to hire recent college graduates this year, according to a new study from CareerBuilder and

The 54 percent of employers communicating their intent to hire recent graduates is an improvement over the last few years of results, which recorded 46 percent in 2011, 44 percent in 2010 and 43 percent in 2009, making the current job climate the best in three years.

The national study, conducted by Harris interactive, surveyed 2,000 hiring managers across industries and company sizes from Feb. 9 to March 2, 2012.

"This is the first time since the recession that we're seeing a majority of employers planning to add recent college graduates to their employee roster," said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, in a statement.  "Companies across industries are placing a strong emphasis on recruiting fresh talent for technology-related roles and positions designed to drive revenue - and they're willing to pay more for high-skill, educated labor."

How much more? The survey found that of those employers planning to hire recent college graduates, 29 percent expect to offer higher salaries than they did in 2011. Most employers reported planned salaries of between $30,000 and 40,000, though a portion responded future offers exceeding $50,000.

The breakdown was as follows:

•             Less than $30,000 – 20 percent

•             $30,000 to less than $40,000 – 30 percent

•             $40,000 to less than $50,000 – 21 percent

•             $50,000 and higher – 28 percent

In terms of most in-demand college majors, the results were:

•             Business – 39 percent

•             Computer and Information Sciences – 24 percent

•             Engineering – 23 percent

•             Math and Statistics – 13 percent

•             Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences – 13 percent

•             Communications Technologies – 12 percent

•             Liberal Arts and Sciences – 9 percent

Employers reported the jobs they were most targeting college grads to fill as:

•             Information Technology – 25 percent

•             Customer Service – 23 percent

•             Sales – 21 percent

•             Finance/Accounting – 18 percent

•             Marketing – 17 percent

•             Business Development – 17 percent

More information can be found at the CareerBuilder website.

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