CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–May 8, 2013. The job outlook for 2013 college graduates is showing signs of slight improvement, according to officials at DePaul University’s Career Center.
“We have seen a 22 percent increase in job postings when comparing July 1, 2012, to March 3, 2013, with the same period last year,” said Gillian Steele, managing director of the Career Center. “The outcomes for 2012 were better than 2011.”
Meanwhile, there was a 19 percent increase in the number of internships posted over the same period with a steady increase in the percentage of paid internships, she said.
For graduating DePaul students, the hot jobs continue to be finance, accounting/auditing and tax-related positions as well as business analytics and analysis. There is also an abundance of jobs for information and technology systems, project management and security professionals. Industries with the largest increases include education, health care/social and human services, hospitality and travel and technology.
A 2012 DePaul post-graduation survey showed that of the 2012 baccalaureate graduates who were working full-time, 84 percent were working in fields related to their degree. For master’s degree recipients, 91 percent were working in a field related to their degree.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) annual Job Outlook Spring Update shows that employers project a 2.1 percent increase in hiring, down from the 13 percent they projected in fall 2012. Still, nearly half of respondents report plans to increase their hiring in 2013.
More than 90 percent of respondents in the NACE survey report plans to hire graduates at the bachelor’s degree level, the NACE survey showed. Demand for MBA and other master’s degree graduates has increased slightly over last year; half of respondents plan to hire MBAs and more than 60 percent expect to hire other master’s degree majors. In comparison, last year, almost 44 percent of respondents planned to hire MBAs and 53 percent were targeting other master’s degrees. At the doctorate level, graduates continue to receive interest from just under one-quarter of respondents.
Within the academic disciplines, employers continue to pursue graduates in the business, engineering and computer science fields. These graduates generate the highest interest from respondents and generally represent the largest percentage of their total new recruits, according to NACE.
According to the Recruiting Trends Report 2012-13, internship programs again emerged as the top recruiting strategy used by most employers (not including postings to college and organization websites). Almost half the employers responding to the survey are using alumni to expand their recruiting efforts. Alumni working for a company are an effective and important means for identifying and recruiting talent from their alma mater.
Among the skills most in demand by employers are verbal communication, decision-making and problem-solving, obtaining and processing information, and planning, organizing and prioritizing work, according to NACE.
Some 71 percent of employers said they preferred candidates with relevant work experience, according to NACE, and 91 percent prefer to have candidates with working experience. At DePaul, 58 percent of those who had academic internships reported that it led to employment, supporting the new paradigm that internships have become the new entry-level jobs.
“Employers are looking for entry-level candidates with a combination of education, skills and real-world experience,” Steele said. “Attributes such as leadership, problem-solving and strong written communication skills are at the top of the employers’ wish list.”
When talking with potential hiring managers and on resumes, students should give good examples of these skills gained during internships, part-time work, class projects, volunteer work and extracurricular activities, she said.
Before meeting employers at job fairs or interviews, candidates need to do their research — they should know about the organization and be able to ask relevant questions that demonstrate their knowledge and interest, Steele said.
“Employers expect you to do your homework on their organizations,” Steele said. “Create a list of your target organizations and concentrate on connecting to and applying to those,” she said. “Employers want you to be passionate about working for their organization, not just any organization.”
Overall, job seekers should stay positive. “Don’t listen to negative comments about the job market — there are plenty of opportunities through your college career services,” Steele said. “Remember it’s not just who you know but who knows you. Make the most of your family, friends, faculty and career services to connect with people in your target organizations.”
DePaul’s Career Center offers graduating students a dedicated service, “senior season” in the spring quarter, which includes capstone classroom presentations and visits, priority career advising, on-the-spot resume reviews, job search and money management workshops, and targeted outreach to those still seeking work at graduation. Also included is the Just-in-Time Job Fair on June 18. For more information, visit http://careercenter.depaul.edu.
DePaul’s Alumni Relations works in partnership with the Career Center to offer Corporate Connectors, a program to help DePaul students and alumni make a smooth transition to a new job or prepare for an upcoming interview at a specific corporation. Several hundred alumni have offered to meet or correspond with fellow alumni or students who are applying to their companies. These volunteers welcome DePaul-affiliated new hires or interns who’ve recently joined their firms.
About DePaul University
With approximately 25,000 students, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest. The university offers approximately 275 graduate and undergraduate programs of study on three Chicago and two suburban campuses. Founded in 1898, DePaul remains committed to providing a quality education through personal attention to students from a wide range of backgrounds. For more information, visit www.depaul.edu.