Career Tips

What companies want from college grads

  • May 3, 2014
  •  Written by Ken
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Employers expect to hire more college graduates from the class of 2014 than from the class of 2013, shows an update to the National Association of Colleges and Employers job outlook survey out Wednesday.

Employers plan to hire 8.6% more graduates this year than from the class of 2013. Though NACE says that rate of increase is about the same as in past years.

“Even though it’s positive, we consider it somewhat flat,” says Andrea Koncz, employment information officer for NACE. “It’s not going gangbusters or anything.”

So what’s the recipe for job success? Bachelor’s degrees are most in demand. And business, engineering and accounting majors — you are a hot commodity. Nearly 70% of the employers who responded to the survey are hiring business majors. That’s the most of any major.

Petroleum engineering majors have the highest average starting salary, according to another survey from NACE out earlier this month. The average starting salary for petroleum engineering majors from the class of 2014 is $95,300, up 1.9% from the class of 2013’s average starting salary.

Health sciences and education students — sorry. You’re at the bottom of the list. Fewer  than 5% of employers want to hire you. Keep in mind though: The data reflect the types of companies that responded to the survey. The majority of respondents represent industries including finance, insurance and real estate, Koncz says.

But the average starting salary for health sciences gained the most ground this year. Students with that degree are expected to make an average of $51,541, up 3.7% from $49,713 last year.

Fall recruiting for the class of 2015 looks even more promising.


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